Fewer black, Hispanic patients get kidney transplants from live donors

REUTERS | Lisa Rapaport
(Reuters Health) - - Black and Hispanic patients who need kidney transplants are less likely than white people to receive organs from live donors and this disparity has worsened over time, a U.S. study suggests.

After two years of waiting for a kidney, 11.4 percent of white patients received an organ from a live donor in 2014, almost four times the proportion of black patients, researchers report in JAMA. Two decades earlier, 7 percent of white patients got kidneys from live donors, which was roughly twice the proportion among black people.

Over the 20-year study period, the proportion of black patients getting live kidneys fell from 3.4 percent to 2.9 percent.

During the same period, the proportion of Hispanic patients getting kidneys from live donors also declined, from 6.8 percent to 5.9 percent. Among Asian kidney recipients, however, live donation became more common, rising from 5.1 percent to 5.6 percent of patients.

“We know that live-donor kidney transplants that involve patients receiving a kidney from a living relative, friend or other altruistic person are associated with longer life expectancy and higher quality of life as compared with deceased donor kidney transplants or long-term dialysis treatment,” said lead study author Tanjala Purnell, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Continue reading

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