Disparities between black and white patients have drastically increased over the last two decades. Still, the Black and Hispanic patients find it difficult to receive a live donor kidney even after two years of waiting, reveals a new study.
Transplantation with a kidney from a live donor is associated with better medical outcomes and quality of life for patients with end-stage kidney disease compared to long-term dialysis treatment or kidney transplantation from a deceased donor.
As racial and ethnic minority patients are known to be less likely than white patients to receive a live donor kidney, dozens of changes have been made to transplant processes over the last 2 decades to reduce the disparities.
Around 453,162 first-time candidates opted for kidney transplantation between 1995-2014 with follow-up through 2016.
The study measures race and ethnicity (exposures) and time to kidney transplantation from a live donor (outcome).
A secondary analysis of an observational study using transplant registry data where researchers are not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control natural differences that could explain the study findings.
The authors were Tanjala S. Purnell, Ph.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, and coauthors.
The results showed that racial and ethnic disparities in live donor kidney transplantation increased from 1995 to 2014. Cumulative incidence in the chart below, a measure of the frequency of kidney transplants from live donors after two years on a waiting list, increased for whites and Asians and decreased for Blacks and Hispanics.
The study could not identify reasons for the disparities, such as patient preference or trends in willingness of live healthy donors to donate kidneys.
The study concluded that existing strategies in place for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in live donor kidney transplantation may not be effective and should be revisited.