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Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 May;37(5):921-31.

Reducing racial disparities in transplant activation: whom should we target?

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  • 1Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and the Departments of Medicine, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Several studies have documented that blacks with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are less likely than whites to be placed on the waiting list for a renal transplant. We examined trends in access over time to determine whether publication of these reports resulted in a reduction in disparity and identified those blacks who were most affected to focus future interventions. Three nationally representative groups of adult patients with ESRD (first dialysis in 1986 to 1987, 1990, or 1993) were followed up longitudinally to ascertain the date of first placement on the renal transplant waiting list. Cox proportional hazards models were used to characterize the magnitude of racial disparities in access to the waiting list with adjustment for clinical and sociodemographic factors. Lower rates of placement on the waiting list for blacks than whites persisted after adjustment for differences in both sociodemographic characteristics and health status (relative hazard [RH], 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59 to 0.79). The gap between blacks and whites did not narrow over time (blacks versus whites: 1986 to 1987 group, RH, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.86; 1990 group, RH, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.91; 1993 group, RH, 0.57; 0.43 to 0.77) and was greatest for the youngest and healthiest black patients, who were 50% and 40% less likely to be listed than corresponding whites, respectively. Interventions targeted toward young and healthy blacks, who are most likely to benefit from transplantation, are urgently needed to narrow black-white differences in transplant activation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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