Studies assess racial disparities associated with living kidney donation

Medical Express

New research uncovers racial disparities in rates of living kidney donation and complications after donation. The findings will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 Nov. 3-8 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

To understand the impact of organ transplant candidates' socioeconomic environment on living donation rates, a team led by Douglas Keith, MD (University of Virginia Medical Center) identified all candidates listed for kidney or kidney pancreas transplant in the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients database from 2000 to 2010 and linked their information to US census data on median income by zip code.

The researchers found that increasing median income levels of candidates' zip codes were associated with higher rates of living donation for all racial and ethnic groups. "This finding suggests that people living in communities with lower median income may have lower levels of disposition to philanthropic giving, but more likely suggest that either there are higher rates of co-morbidity leading to exclusion for being a donor and/or the non reimbursed costs related to donation—such as time off work for evaluation and follow-up, parking, and child or elder care—may preclude many from participating," said Keith Norris, MD, PhD, who was not involved with the study and is a clinical professor specializing in health policy and nephrology at UCLA. Continue reading