Background: There is a significant Indo-Asian community in Yorkshire. The rate of end-stage renal failure is disproportionately high in this ethnic group. There have not been any large studies of this ethnic minority's access to and outcome after cadaveric renal transplantation.
Methods: Three local cohorts were studied: 846 adult patients (9.1% Asian) who started renal replacement therapy 1990-1994, 822 adult patients (11.4% Asian) registered on the transplant waiting list 1985-1994; and 608 adult patients (8.6% Asian) transplanted 1985-1994.
Results: At 1 year from the start of dialysis, 34% of Asian and 31% of non-Asian patients were registered onto the waiting list. After adjustment for age in a multifactorial model, Asian patients were less likely to be listed (relative risk, 0.68), although this did not reach statistical significance (P=0.06). There was a significant difference in graft rate between the groups: at 3 years 72% of non-Asians versus 55% of Asians had been transplanted from the waiting list (P<0.001). For those transplanted, HLA matching was superior for white patients: 34% versus 20% of pairings achieved a 000 mismatched or favorably matched graft (P<0.05). Transplant survival at 5 years was 71% in the non-Asian and 58% in the Asian patients (P=0.07). Asian cadaveric donation was identified in 2 of 608 transplants during a 10-year period.
Conclusion: Asian patients gained access to the transplant waiting list at a similar rate to the non-Asian white majority. Because of difficulties with HLA matching, Asian patients were significantly disadvantaged in receiving a transplant once listed, and there was a trend towards reduced posttransplant survival. Cadaveric donation was uncommon from within the Asian community; the reasons for which are likely to be complex.