Study: Live donor kidney transplants for blacks, Hispanic patients decline

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Black and Hispanic kidney transplant patients are less likely than white patients to receive a kidney from a live donor, according to a study published in JAMA.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on 453,162 adult first-time kidney transplant candidates nationwide compiled from 1995 to 2014 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

Analysis revealed live donor kidney transplantation over this time period increased from 7 percent to 11.4 percent for white patients and 5.1 percent to 5.6 percent for Asian patients. Conversely, live kidney transplants rates declined 3.4 percent to 2.9 percent for black patients and 6.8 percent to 5.9 percent for Hispanic patients.

"Best-case scenario, we would have thought that policies designed to increase live kidney donation would have helped narrow disparities," said Tanjala Purnell, PhD, lead study author and an assistant professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "Worst case, we would think that these population-level policies would not have an impact on disparities, but it is disappointing and surprising to find that the disparities have actually gotten much worse over the last two decades … We need to implement a national strategy that specifically targets a reduction in these disparities."

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