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Non-Hispanic Blacks Underrepresented on Transplant Wait List

THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 -- Non-Hispanic Black patients are disproportionately left off liver transplant wait lists, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Curtis Warren, M.P.H., from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues used the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients to identify center-specific adult deceased donor liver transplant and waitlist data to correlate transplant center characteristics with patient access to the waiting list and liver transplantation.

The researchers found that non-Hispanic Blacks are underrepresented in liver transplant listing versus their center Donation Service Area, while non-Hispanic Whites are overrepresented. Hispanics were also underrepresented on the wait list. While the racial/ethnic distribution of transplantation is more reflective of the wait list, there is a higher-than-expected rate of transplantation for non-Hispanic Blacks versus the wait list. Percentage of transplant recipients at the center who had private insurance, racial composition of the Donation Service Area, and the distance recipients had to travel for transplant predicted disparity in listing.

"Improvements in access to adequate health insurance appears to be essential to diminishing disparities in access to this life-saving care," the authors write.

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