Black Kidney Disease Patients in Poorer Neighborhoods Less Likely To Be Added to Transplant Waiting List, Study Finds
Black patients with end-stage renal or kidney disease who live in poorer neighborhoods are 56% less likely than whites to be added to a transplant waiting list, according to a study by Emory University researchers, HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report reports.
For the report, researcher Sandra Amaral and colleagues analyzed data on end-stage renal disease patients in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina from 1998 to 2002. Of the nearly 12,600 patients studied, 62% were black, and of those, 17% were put on a waiting list.
While researchers theorized that those who lived the farthest away from transplant centers would be less likely than others to be put on a kidney transplant waiting list, they found that distance to a transplant center did not have a significant influence. According to the study, 27% of black patients and 9% of white patients lived in areas where more than 25% of the population had incomes below the federal poverty level. Amaral said the reasons for the findings are "poorly understood, but multiple factors are likely involved," adding that the findings warrant "further exploration but suggest that racial disparity in the wait-listing process may indeed be a reflection of differential access to health care."
Amaral also noted that the findings highlight "a potential new approach to addressing the disparities: reaching out to poorer communities with advocacy and education" (HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report, 11/10).