Disparities in outcomes for African American (AA) kidney transplant recipients have persisted for 40 years without a comprehensive analysis of evolving trends in the risks associated with this disparity. Here we analyzed U.S. transplant registry data, which included adult Caucasian or AA solitary kidney recipients undergoing transplantation between 1990 and 2009 comprising 202,085 transplantations. During this 20-year period, the estimated rate of 5-year graft loss decreased from 27.6% to 12.8%. Notable trends in baseline characteristics that significantly differed by race over time included the following: increased prevalence of diabetes from 2001 to 2009 in AAs (5-year slope difference: 3.4%), longer time on the waiting list (76.5 more days per 5 years in AAs), fewer living donors in AAs from 2003 to 2009 (5-year slope difference: -3.36%), more circulatory death donors in AAs from 2000-09 (5-year slope difference: 1.78%), and a slower decline in delayed graft function in AAs (5-year slope difference: 0.85%). The absolute risk difference between AAs and Caucasians for 5-year graft loss significantly declined over time (-0.92% decrease per 5 years), whereas the relative risk difference actually significantly increased (3.4% increase per 5 years). These results provide a mixed picture of both promising and concerning trends in disparities for AA kidney transplant recipients. Thus, although the disparity for graft loss has significantly improved, equity is still far off, and other disparities, including living donation rates and delayed graft function rates, have widened during this time.
Keywords: African American; graft loss; kidney transplant; racial disparities.
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.