Reuters | Kerry Grens
(Reuters Health) - Americans who receive a kidney from someone who is not a relative tend to be white, highly educated and live in wealthier neighborhoods, according to a new study that calls for wider outreach to promote living donation.
Researchers say the findings demonstrate that financial and educational barriers to donating a kidney make it harder for the poor and minorities to give or receive an organ.
"We're not doing enough in this country to remove disincentives to living donation," said Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, senior author of the study and director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Although medical costs for a live donor are typically covered by health insurance, additional expenses -- such as travel, lodging and time off of work -- are not.
The kidney is one of the few organs a person can give away, yet still lead a healthy life afterwards with one remaining kidney.