Does Having One Kidney Shorten a Person's Lifespan?

In general, most individuals with a single, healthy kidney enjoy a normal life span with few problems, says the National Kidney Foundation. Some individuals may experience a slight loss of kidney function or high blood pressure later in life, but the majority live healthy, normal lives.

There are indications that kidney donors who are carefully screened for major health conditions have a similar life span to individuals who have not donated kidneys, according to a University of Minnesota study published by the National Institutes of Health. The donors do not demonstrate an increased risk of kidney failure. They appear to be in similar health condition to non-donors, and they have excellent quality-of-life scores.