Racial Disparity in Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant Rate

Highest rates in whites and Asians, lowest rates in American Indians/Alaskan Natives and blacks

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- There are discrepancies in the waiting times and rates of deceased donor kidney transplantation for whites and ethnic racial minorities in the United States, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Yoshio N. Hall, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues compared rates and factors determining waiting times and deceased donor kidney transplantation in 503,090 adults from different ethnic racial groups. Participants started hemodialysis between 1995 and 2006, and were followed up through 2008.

The investigators found that the annual rates of deceased donor transplantation were highest in Asians (6.4 percent) and whites (5.9 percent), were intermediate in Hispanics (3.2 percent) and Pacific Islanders (3.1 percent), and were lowest in American Indians/Alaska Natives (2.4 percent) and blacks (2.8 percent). Lower rates resulted from differences in the time from wait-listing to transplantation, but were not due to removal from the waitlist or waitlist inactivity. Reduced transplant rates, which could be ascribed to measurable factors, including demographics and clinical, socioeconomic, linguistic, and geographic factors, varied from 14 percent in blacks to 43 percent in American Indians/Alaska Natives compared with whites.

"Despite having been recognized for two decades, relative rates of deceased donor kidney transplantation remain significantly lower among racial ethnic minorities compared with whites. Determinants of delays in time to transplantation differ substantially by race ethnic group," the authors write.

One author disclosed a financial relationship with UpToDate, a medical information publisher.

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