Geographic variability in access to primary kidney transplantation in the United States, 1996-2005

Am J Transplant. 2007;7(5 Pt 2):1412-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.01785.x.


This article focuses on geographic variability in patient access to kidney transplantation in the United States. It examines geographic differences and trends in access rates to kidney transplantation, in the component rates of wait-listing, and of living and deceased donor transplantation. Using data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, we studied 700,000+ patients under 75, who began chronic dialysis treatment, received their first living donor kidney transplant, or were placed on the waiting list pre-emptively. Relative rates of wait-listing and transplantation by State were calculated using Cox regression models, adjusted for patient demographics. There were geographic differences in access to the kidney waiting list and to a kidney transplant. Adjusted wait-list rates ranged from 37% lower to 64% higher than the national average. The living donor rate ranged from 57% lower to 166% higher, while the deceased donor transplant rate ranged from 60% lower to 150% higher than the national average. In general, States with higher wait-listing rates tended to have lower transplantation rates and States with lower wait-listing rates had higher transplant rates. Six States demonstrated both high wait-listing and deceased donor transplantation rates while six others, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, were below the national average for both parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Family
  • Geography
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Racial Groups
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Waiting Lists