One-Third of Patients on the National Kidney Transplant Wait List Are African-Americans

by Reshma Anand on  September 2, 2015 at 6:42 PM Organ Donation News   - G J E 4
Organ transplantation turns out to be a long, expensive and time-consuming process. But still the number of people getting transplants everyday has increased when compared to the people who die without it.
One-Third of Patients on the National Kidney Transplant Wait List Are African-Americans
One-Third of Patients on the National Kidney Transplant Wait List Are African-Americans

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 79 people get a new organ each day, while an average of 22 people die without getting a transplant. As of May 2015, the national waiting list for an organ donation was 42 percent Caucasians, and 30 percent African-American.

A 13 year study on the racial organ transplants revealed that the rates of kidney transplants between black and white end-stage kidney disease patients was pretty much equal by 2010.

"Those rates remained stable in 2011 and the trend has likely continued," said Dr. Jesse Sammon, a urologist-researcher at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

The rate of kidney transplants in black people increased from 93 to 128 per 1000 people from 1998 to 2011. But the number remained the same for white people. This increase in black people was due to the deceased donors. As of 2012, 83% of people who received kidney transplants from deceased donors were still alive five years later, which was slightly less than the 93% of patients who received kidneys from live donors.

In 2003, a policy was introduced in the US which allowed more people to donate their kidneys even if the donors were partially matched. Generally organ transplants succeed only when the donor is a perfect match but still new transplant techniques and anti-rejection drugs helped partially matched organs to do better in their new owners.

For African-Americans, a new matching system came into effect last December to further improve their rates. The system counts the waiting time for a kidney from the date the patient starts dialysis, not from when they joined the waiting list, since most transplants go to the patient who waited the longest. Since end-stage kidney disease is most common in blacks, they make up about one-third of all patients on the national kidney transplant wait list.

Source: Medindia

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