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Am J Transplant. 2008 Nov;8(11):2402-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02413.x. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Neighborhood poverty and kidney transplantation among US Asians and Pacific Islanders with end-stage renal disease.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


The degree to which low transplant rates among Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States are confounded by poverty and reduced access to care is unknown. We examined the relationship between neighborhood poverty and kidney transplant rates among 22 152 patients initiating dialysis during 1995-2003 within 1800 ZIP codes in California, Hawaii and the US-Pacific Islands. Asians and whites on dialysis were distributed across the spectrum of poverty, while Pacific Islanders were clustered in the poorest areas. Overall, worsening neighborhood poverty was associated with lower relative rates of transplant (adjusted HR [95% CI] for areas with > or =20% vs. <5% residents living in poverty, 0.41 [0.32-0.53], p < 0.001). At every level of poverty, Asians and Pacific Islanders experienced lower transplant rates compared with whites. The degree of disparity increased with worsening neighborhood poverty (adjusted HR [95% CI] for Asians-Pacific Islanders vs. whites, 0.64 [0.51-0.80], p < 0.001 for areas with <5% and 0.30 [0.21-0.44], p < 0.001 for areas with > or =20% residents living in poverty; race-poverty level interaction, p = 0.039). High levels of neighborhood poverty are associated with lower transplant rates among Asians and Pacific Islanders compared with whites. Our findings call for studies to identify cultural and local barriers to transplant among Asians and Pacific Islanders, particularly those residing in resource-poor neighborhoods.

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