Racial inequalities exist for kids with kidney disease

Among children with kidney disease, certain races are less likely to get kidney transplants and are more likely to die than other races, according to two studies from Emory University that were presented during the American Society of Nephrology's Annual Kidney Week.

Kidney transplantation is the optimal treatment for patients with kidney failure, but the demand for organs outweighs the supply. That's why most patients with kidney failure must start on dialysis while they wait for a kidney transplant. Rachel Patzer, PhD and her colleagues looked to see how race and poverty impact access to before dialysis -- called preemptive transplantation -- among children with kidney failure.

By analyzing data from the United from 2000 to 2008, the researchers found that the average annual rate of preemptive transplantation was higher among whites than Hispanics and blacks. Racial differences were also evident in the type of preemptive transplants children received, where more white patients had living donors (78.8%) vs Hispanics (57.3%) and blacks (48.8%). Hispanics had a 50% and blacks a 56% lower rate of preemptive transplants than whites.

"Among disease patients in the United States, white patients have a significantly higher rate of getting a without ever starting dialysis compared to blacks and Hispanics," concluded Dr. Patzer. "The reasons for this racial disparity are not entirely clear, but could be due to lower access to health care among minority patients," she added.

In another study, these same researchers examined racial differences in deaths among children with kidney failure. Sandra Amaral, MD and her team examined all kidney failure patients under 21 years of age who went on dialysis between January 2000 and September 2008 and did not receive a transplant during the study, which ended in September 2009.

Among 8,146 pediatric kidney failure patients, 896 (9.7%) died. Blacks with no health insurance had a 59% greater rate of death after developing kidney failure compared with whites, while Hispanics had a significantly lower rate of death vs the other racial groups regardless of insurance status. "More studies are needed to understand why these differences occur," said Dr. Amaral.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Younger doctors recommend kidney transplantations earlier

Oct 29, 2009

Compared with veteran doctors, recent medical school graduates are more likely to refer chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients for kidney transplantation before their patients require dialysis, according to a paper being presented ...

Recommended for you

Africans in New York complain of Ebola stigma

2 hours ago

Members of the west African community in New York complained Wednesday that their children were being bullied at school and businesses were losing money because of hysteria over Ebola.

Ebola expert says China at risk, seeks Japan aid

3 hours ago

A scientist who helped to discover the Ebola virus says he is concerned that the disease could spread to China given the large numbers of Chinese workers traveling to and from Africa.

Study: Young people more likely to survive Ebola

14 hours ago

A new study gives fresh knowledge about who survives Ebola and why. The report by 47 health workers treating patients in Sierra Leone in West Africa is the most detailed description yet of the medical aspects of the current ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.