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Am J Transplant. 2006 Nov;6(11):2556-62. Epub 2006 Sep 4.

Disparities in solid organ transplantation for ethnic minorities: facts and solutions.

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1
Rush University Medical Center, Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

The Diversity and Minority Affairs Committee of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) convened a symposium to examine organ transplantation in underserved and minority populations. The goals of the meeting included 'benchmarking' of solid organ transplantation among minority populations, review of the epidemiology of end-organ damage, exploration of barriers to transplantation services and development of approaches to eliminate disparities. Participants noted that minority populations were more likely to be adversely affected by limited preventive medical care, lack of counseling regarding transplant options, and delays in transplant referrals for organ transplantation. These features largely reflect economic disadvantage as well as the reduced presence of minority professionals with training in transplant-related specialties. Participants in the conference noted that recent changes in organ allocation policies had improved access to minority individuals once listed for renal transplantation. Similar advances will be needed for other organs to address inequities in pretransplant care and underrepresentation of minorities among transplant professionals. The biologic basis of differences in transplant outcomes for minority recipients has not been adequately studied. Research funds must be targeted to address biologic mechanisms underlying disparate transplant outcomes including the impacts of environment, education, poverty and lifestyle choices.

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