Direct and Indirect Costs Following Living Kidney Donation: Findings from the KDOC Study

J. R. Rodrigue, J. D. Schold, P. Morrissey, J. Whiting, J. Vella, L. K. Kayler, D. Katz, J. Jones, B. Kaplan, A. Fleishman, M. Pavlakis, D. A. Mandelbrot

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    60 Scopus citations


    Some living kidney donors (LKDs) incur costs associated with donation, although these costs are not well characterized in the United States. We collected cost data in the 12 mo following donation from 182 LKDs participating in the multicenter prospective Kidney Donor Outcomes Cohort (KDOC) Study. Most LKDs (n = 167, 92%) had one direct cost or more following donation, including ground transportation (86%), health care (41%), meals (53%), medications (36%), lodging (23%), and air transportation (12%). LKDs missed 33 072 total work hours, 40% of which were unpaid and led to 302 175 in lost wages (mean 1660). Caregivers lost 68 655 in wages (mean 377). Although some donors received financial assistance, 89% had a net financial loss in the 12-mo period, with one-third (33%) reporting a loss exceeding 2500. Financial burden was higher for those with greater travel distance to the transplant center (Spearman's ρ = 0.26, p < 0.001), lower household income (Spearman's ρ = -0.25, p < 0.001), and more unpaid work hours missed (Spearman's ρ = 0.52, p < 0.001). Achieving financial neutrality for LKDs must be an immediate priority for the transplant community, governmental agencies, insurance companies, nonprofit organizations, and society at large.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)869-876
    Number of pages8
    JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Transplantation
    • Pharmacology (medical)


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