Minimizing racial disparity regarding receipt of a cadaver kidney transplant

Am J Kidney Dis. 1997 Dec;30(6):749-59. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(97)90078-0.


This report describes the impact of race on waiting list entry and receipt of a cadaver kidney transplant, after accounting for self-reported income, health and functional status, and patients' attitudes about dialysis and transplantation as treatment alternatives. Previous studies did not account for these race-related factors and therefore produced biased estimates of the impact of race on waiting list entry and receipt of a transplant. Data for this investigation came from a telephone survey of a national sample of 456 end-stage renal disease patients and from files maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing and the Health Care Financing Administration. Proportional hazard models were estimated with these data. The results indicated that approximately 60% of the differences between black and white waiting list entry rates and 52% of the black-white differences in transplantation rates were due to race-related differences in socioeconomic status, health and functional status, severity of illness, biological factors, the existence of contraindications to transplantation, transplant center characteristics, and patients' attitudes about dialysis and transplantation. Potential ways to narrow racial differences further include better education about treatment alternatives for black patients, more vigorous efforts to obtain donor organs from minorities, continued research and thoughtful policy on the access-related impacts of United Network for Organ Sharing point system variances, and consolidation of some smaller waiting lists into larger regional lists.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Bias
  • Cadaver
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S.
  • Contraindications
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Kidney Transplantation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Social Class
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Waiting Lists