Racial Disparity at Many Steps of Renal Transplant Process

Even after accounting for socioeconomic variables, blacks still have lower rate of transplant

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparities exist with regard to patient access to referral and evaluation for renal transplant, waitlisting, and eventual receipt of a kidney, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.

Rachel E. Patzer, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a study of 2,291 adult patients who were referred for renal transplant evaluation. Demographic and clinical data were linked with information from the United States Renal Data System and from the American Community Survey Census data to evaluate whether patient race had any effect on referral, evaluation, placement on a waiting list, or eventual organ receipt.

The researchers found that 64.9 percent of patients were black, and 33.6 percent lived in poor neighborhoods. Racial disparities were seen in several steps of the transplant process: access to referral, transplant evaluation, waitlisting, and organ receipt. Although socioeconomic status (SES) accounted for almost one-third of the lower rate of transplant observed in black patients, compared with white patients, black patients still had a 59 percent lower rate of transplant (hazard ratio, 0.41).

"We found that racial disparities are evident in several steps of the renal transplant process, and that while SES explained some of the racial differences, black patients had a 59 percent lower rate of transplant than white patients even after accounting for demographic, clinical, and SES factors," the authors write.

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