December 11, 2016
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Not Everyone Treated Equal With Kidney Transplant

WASHINGTON  — Not all racial and ethnic groups have equal 

access to kidney transplantation, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue 
of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results indicate that the 
reasons for these disparities are varied and that more focused efforts are needed to 
address them. 
For most individuals who develop kidney failure or end-stage renal disease, kidney 
transplantation is the best treatment option. Unfortunately, certain racial and ethnic 
groups are less likely to receive kidney transplants than others. Despite the increasing 
diversity of patients on dialysis who need kidney transplants, no prior studies had 
comprehensively compared the barriers to transplantation among different racial and 
ethnic groups.  
Yoshio Hall, MD (University of Washington, Seattle) and his colleagues investigated the 
rates and determinants of waitlisting and deceased-donor kidney transplantation among 
503,090 non-elderly adults of different racial and ethnic groups who initiated dialysis 
between 1995 and 2006. They followed the patients through 2008.  
The researchers found that the annual crude rates of deceased-donor transplantation 
from the time of dialysis initiation were lowest in American Indians/Alaska Natives (2.4%) 
and blacks (2.8%), intermediate in Pacific Islanders (3.1%) and Hispanics (3.2%), and 
highest in non-Hispanic whites (5.9%) and Asians (6.4%).  
The reasons for these differences in rates varied among racial and ethnic groups: blacks, 
American Indians, and Alaska Natives face continued difficulty in accessing transplant 
waitlists, primarily due to socioeconomic factors, while Hispanics and Pacific Islanders 
encounter delays from waitlists, which may be negatively influenced by regional organ 
availability, linguistic isolation, and perhaps cultural isolation. “Looking forward, our 
study suggests that interventions to address local population-specific barriers to 
transplantation may help to reduce overall racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities 
in accessing kidney transplantation,” said Dr. Hall. Study co-authors include Ping Xu,
Ann O’Hare, MD (University of Washington, Seattle); 
Andy Choi, MD (University of California San Francisco); and Glenn Chertow, MD 
(Stanford University).
 
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STORY TAGS: Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News

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