New research has suggested that blacks have a significantly higher risk of dying young compared with whites among young adult dialysis patients living in poor neighborhoods.
The findings, which come from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), suggest that more work is needed to understand social factors that could worsen outcomes among young black adults with kidney failure.
Among young dialysis patients aged 18 to 30 years, blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to die while still young. The reasons for this difference have not been well understood. Tanya Johns, MD, MHS (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center) and her colleagues wondered whether the wealth of patients' neighborhoods could play a role. The team merged information from the US Renal Data System pertaining to 11,027 young black and white patients initiating dialysis between 2006 and 2009 with US Census data regarding neighborhood wealth.
"In our study, young black patients' risk of death was worse when they lived in poor neighborhoods. We need to better understand how the wealth of someone's neighborhood affects patients' health while on dialysis," said Dr. Johns.