Disparities in kidney transplant outcomes: a review

Semin Nephrol. 2010 Jan;30(1):81-9. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2009.10.009.


Sociocultural and socioeconomic disparities in graft survival, graft function, and patient survival in adult kidney transplant recipients are reviewed. Studies consistently document worse outcomes for black patients, patients with low income, and patients with less education, whereas better outcomes are reported in Hispanic and Asian kidney transplant recipients. However, the distinct roles of racial/ethnic versus socioeconomic factors remain unclear. Attention to potential pathways contributing to disparities has been limited to immunologic and nonimmunologic factors, for which the mechanisms have yet to be fully illuminated. Interventions to reduce disparities have focused on modifying immunosuppressant regimens. Modifying access to care and health care funding policies for immunosuppressive medication coverage also are discussed. The implementation of culturally sensitive approaches to the care of transplant candidates and recipients is promising. Future research is needed to examine the mechanisms contributing to disparities in graft survival and ultimately to intervene effectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Forecasting
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Treatment Outcome