Differences in access to kidney transplantation between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites by geographic location in the United States

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Dec;8(12):2149-57. doi: 10.2215/CJN.01560213. Epub 2013 Oct 10.


Background and objectives: Hispanic patients undergoing chronic dialysis are less likely to receive a kidney transplant compared with non-Hispanic whites. This study sought to elucidate disparities in the path to receipt of a deceased donor transplant between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Using the US Renal Data System, 417,801 Caucasians who initiated dialysis between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2007 with follow-up through 2008 were identified. This study investigated time from first dialysis to first kidney transplantation, time from first dialysis to waitlisting, and time from waitlisting to kidney transplantation. Multivariable Cox regression estimated cause-specific hazard ratios (HRCS) and subdistribution (competing risk) hazard ratios (HRSD) for Hispanics versus non-Hispanic whites.

Results: Hispanics experienced lower adjusted rates of deceased donor kidney transplantation than non-Hispanic whites (HRCS, 0.77; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.75 to 0.80) measured from dialysis initiation. No meaningful differences were found in time from dialysis initiation to placement on the transplant waitlist. Once waitlisted, Hispanics had lower adjusted rates of deceased donor kidney transplantation (HRCS, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.68), and the association attenuated once accounting for competing risks (HRSD, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.81). Additionally controlling for blood type and organ procurement organization further reduced the disparity (HRSD, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.02).

Conclusions: After accounting for geographic location and controlling for competing risks (e.g., Hispanic survival advantage), the disparity in access to deceased donor transplantation was markedly attenuated among Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic whites. To overcome the geographic disparities that Hispanics encounter in the path to transplantation, organ allocation policy revisions are needed to improve donor organ equity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catchment Area, Health*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Waiting Lists
  • White People*
  • Young Adult