Marijuana use has no effect on kidney transplant outcomes

November 15, 2018

A new study in Clinical Kidney Journal indicates that the usage of marijuana by kidney donors has no measurable effect upon the outcomes of kidney transplants for donors or recipients. This study is the first to investigate the effect of marijuana use by live kidney donors.

The use of marijuana in the United States has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years. Marijuana use has more than doubled between 2001 and 2013, with 54.1% of adolescents claiming to have initiated marijuana use by the age of 21.

There is a shortage of kidneys available for transplantation. As of 2018 there are nearly 100,000 patients on the waiting list for donor kidney transplants, with an average wait-time of 3 to 10 years depending on region and blood type. Some patients do not survive long enough on dialysis to receive a transplant.

Based on National Kidney Registry recommendations that exclude substance abusers from donation, transplant institutions may refuse live kidney donors who have a history of marijuana use; however, there was previously no evidence pertaining specifically to the donor or recipient outcomes.

Researchers in this study reviewed living kidney transplants performed between January 2000 and May 2016 in a single academic institution. Donor and recipient groups were each divided into two groups by donor marijuana usage, comparing the outcomes of the transplants using a variety of tests. Researchers reviewed 294 living donor medical records, including 31 marijuana using donors. Researchers also reviewed 230 living kidney recipient records, including 27 marijuana using kidney recipients.

The results show no difference in donor or recipient perioperative characteristics or postoperative outcomes based upon donor marijuana use, indicating that there were no long-term differences in kidney function between those who used marijuana and those who did not.

"A significant shortage in available potential kidney donors exists," said the paper's lead author, Duane Baldwin. "Our goal with this study was to start a conversation on this topic and to encourage other centers to study this important question. It is our hope that considering marijuana using donors could ultimately save lives."
-end-
The paper, "Should donors who have used marijuana be considered candidates for living kidney donation?" is available (at midnight EST on November 15) at https://academic.oup.com/ckj/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ckj/sfy107.

Direct correspondence to:

D. Duane Baldwin
Department of Urology

Loma Linda University Health Loma Linda, California
dbaldwin@llu.edu

To request a copy of the study, please contact:

Daniel Luzer
daniel.luzer@oup.com

Sharing on social media? Find Oxford Journals online at @OxfordJournals

Oxford University Press USA

Related Marijuana Articles from Brightsurf:

Teen boys link marijuana use with more, better sex
Teen-age boys exposed to pro-cannabis advertising and social media posts are more likely than female peers to associate marijuana use with improving sexual activity, new research from Washington State University suggests.

Legal marijuana may be slowing reductions in teen marijuana use, study says
A longitudinal study of more than 230 teens and young adults in Washington state finds that teens may be more likely to use marijuana following legalization - with the proliferation of stores and increasing adult use of the drug -- than they otherwise would have been.

Does using marijuana affect a person's risk of stroke?
The jury's still out on whether the use of marijuana may increase the risk of stroke.

Marijuana use among older adults in US
Cannabis use apparently continues to increase among older adults in the U.S. based on findings reported in this research letter.

Is it hemp or marijuana? New scanner gives instant answer
Hemp is technically legal in Texas, but proving that hemp is not marijuana can be a hurdle, requiring testing in a licensed laboratory.

Recreational marijuana availability in Oregon and use among adolescents
New research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation suggests that legalization and greater retail availability of recreational marijuana is positively associated with marijuana use among adolescents.

Marijuana detected in homicide victims nearly doubles
Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health assessed the time trends in alcohol and marijuana detected in homicide victims and found that the prevalence of marijuana almost doubled, increasing from 22 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2016.

Vaping of marijuana on the rise among teens
Findings from the 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey demonstrate the appeal of vaping to teens, as seen in the increased prevalence of marijuana use as well as nicotine vaping.

Use changes after recreational marijuana legalization
How the legalization of recreational marijuana in some states was associated with changes inĀ marijuana use and cannabis use disorder compared to other states from 2008 to 2016 was the focus of this study.

Teen marijuana use may have next-generation effects
A new study by the University of Washington's Social Development Research Group shows how a parent's use of marijuana, past or present, can influence their child's substance use and well-being.

Read More: Marijuana News and Marijuana Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.