Transplantation rates for living- but not deceased-donor kidneys vary with socioeconomic status in Australia

Kidney Int. 2013 Jan;83(1):138-45. doi: 10.1038/ki.2012.304. Epub 2012 Aug 15.


Socioeconomic disadvantage has been linked to reduced access to kidney transplantation. To understand and address potential barriers to transplantation, we used the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry and examined primary kidney-only transplantation among adult non-Indigenous patients who commenced chronic renal replacement therapy in Australia during 2000-2010. Socioeconomic status was derived from residential postcodes using standard indices. Among the 21,190 patients who commenced renal replacement therapy, 4105 received a kidney transplant (2058 from living donors (660 preemptive) or 2047 from deceased donors) by the end of 2010. Compared with the most socioeconomic disadvantaged quartile, patients from the most advantaged quartile were more likely to receive a preemptive transplant (relative rate 1.93), and more likely to receive a living-donor kidney (adjusted subhazard ratio 1.34) after commencing dialysis. Socioeconomic status was not associated with deceased-donor transplantation. Thus, the association between socioeconomic status and living- but not deceased-donor transplantation suggests that potential donors (rather than recipients) from disadvantaged areas may face barriers to donation. Although the deceased-donor organ allocation process appears essentially equitable, it differs between Australian states.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / statistics & numerical data