Kidney Transplantation Rates Vary Along Racial Lines
The rates of kidney transplantation among patients with end stage renal disease vary according to race, a new study shows. According to MedPage Today, researchers at Emory University in Atlanta found that black patients who fall into this category have a 59 percent lower rate of kidney transplant than their white peers.
This disparity occurs despite the fact that black patients formed 56 percent of the waiting list at the Emory Transplant Center, where researchers conducted their study.
Researchers also saw disparities among the 2,200 patients they studied in access to referral, transplant evaluation, waitlisting and eventual transplant. The biggest inequalities were seen in the time between diagnosis and referral—283 days for blacks and 84 days for whites—and time spent on the waiting list—727 days for blacks versus 374 days for whites.
According to study leader Rachel Patzer, clinical, demographic and socioeconomic factors explain only about 51 percent of the difference observed between black and white kidney patients. What accounts for the rest of the gap remains unclear.
Patzer and her colleagues believe their findings reflect indefinable barriers to equitable access to treatment for kidney transplantation, MedPage Today reported.
However, researchers were quick to caution that their findings may not reflect wider trends, as the study was performed in a single center where racial disparities may be of greater significance. In fact, while only 44 percent of the 56 percent of black patients on the waiting list eventually received a kidney at the Emory Center, nationwide rates suggest that blacks get a transplant rate nearly equal to their waiting list proportion.