WASHINGTON—African American and older patients are much less likely than patients of other races or ages to receive kidney transplants from living donors, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Furthermore, African American or older kidney transplant candidates who did have potential living donors were still less likely to receive living donor kidney transplants, according to the study.
The study by Francis Weng, MD (Saint Barnabas Medical Center) and his colleagues found that African American or older kidney transplant candidates were less likely to have friends or family members contact their transplant center to volunteer as possible living kidney donors.
The researchers studied 1,617 kidney transplant candidates, 791 (48.9 percent) of whom recruited at least one potential living donor and 452 (28.0 percent) of whom received living donor kidney transplants.
Compared with candidates of other races, African American transplant candidates were less likely to receive living kidney donor transplants (20.5 percent vs. 30.6 percent), recruit potential living donors (43.9 percent vs. 50.7 percent), and receive living kidney donor transplants if they had potential donors (46.8 percent vs. 60.3 percent).
Compared with those younger than 40 years of age, transplant candidates 60 years of age and older were less likely to receive living donor kidney transplants (15.1 percent vs. 43.2 percent), recruit potential living donors (34 percent v. 64.6 percent), and receive living donor kidney transplants if they had potential donors (44.5 percent vs. 66.8 percent).
“Barriers at both these steps in the living donor process contribute to the lower rates of living donor kidney transplant among African American or older patients,” said Weng.