New Study Finds Gap in Survival Rates for Blacks, Whites With Liver Transplants Has Diminished
A gap in survival rates between whites and minorities who had received a liver transplant appears to have been eliminated, possibly due to the introduction of a new medication to prevent organ rejection, new research finds, Reuters reports.
Johnny Hong of the University of California-Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine and colleagues looked at data on 817 liver transplant patients between 1984 and 1993 and compared them with data on 1,922 patients who received transplants between 1994 and 2007. Patients undergoing liver transplantation in the earlier time period received the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine, while patients more recently have been receiving tacrolimus.
According to the study, the 10-year patient survival rate for whites in the earlier period was 61%, compared with a rate of 50% for blacks. In the later era, the rate for blacks and whites was nearly equal at 65%.
Hong said, "Although our study is the first to find equivalent long-term outcomes among racial groups after liver transplantation, access to care for all patients with end-stage liver disease clearly remains a major goal for all transplant centers" (Reuters, 6/5).