The Renal and Lung Living Donors Evaluation Study (RELIVE) produced valuable information on the outcomes of living kidney donation and living lung donation. This study provided information to aid decisions made both by physicians and by potential donors. In order to learn more about the risks and benefits of living kidney and lung donation, the project brought together a group of clinical transplant centers and a data coordinating center to study large numbers of people who have donated a kidney or lobe of lung for transplantation.
Funding for this study from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) allowed Arbor Research to analyze data from subjects enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) between 1971 and 2004. These data were linked to the National Death Index and to claims data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Arbor Research was among the first research groups in the country to gain access to these merged datasets.
The linked NHANES data are rich in clinical information, enabling the exclusion of subjects with conditions that would have ruled them out as kidney donors and thus permitting the construction of a control cohort. Most exciting, the linkage of these datasets enabled comparisons of long-term outcomes for the control group and the nearly 9,000 RELIVE subjects who donated kidneys between 1963 and 2007.