Transplant center assessment of the inequity in the kidney transplant process and outcomes for the Indigenous American patients

Mira T. Keddis, Amit Sharma, Muneeb Ilyas, Nan Zhang, Hasan Khamash, Scott Leischow, Raymond L. Heilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The goal is to determine the delays and reduced rates of kidney transplant (KTx) for the Indigenous Americans and variables predictive of these outcomes at a large single transplant center. METHODS: 300 Indigenous Americans and 300 non-Hispanic white American patients presenting for KTx evaluation from 2012-2016 were studied. RESULTS: Compared to whites, the Indigenous Americans had the following: more diabetes, dialysis, physical limitation and worse socioeconomic characteristics(p<0.01); median difference of 20 day delay from referral to KTx evaluation, 17 day delay from approval to UNOS listing and 126.5 longer delay on the waitlist compared to whites(p<0.001). Of the Indigenous Americans listed, more died, were removed, or were still waiting than transplanted compared to whites (p<0.001). Variables predictive of delay from referral to transplant evaluation included: Indigenous race, distance from transplant center, coronary artery disease, and time on dialysis (p<0.05). Cumulative incidence of waitlisting and KTx was lower for Indigenous Americans (p<0.0001). Independent predictors of decreased likelihood of waitlisting included age, peripheral vascular disease, no caregiver, physical limitation, and illegal drug use history (p<0.05). Variables predictive of lower likelihood of KTx included Indigenous race, percentage of time inactive on the waitlist, no caregiver, and O blood type. CONCLUSIONS: Among patients referred and evaluated for KTx, the Indigenous American race was independently associated with significant delays in the KTx process after accounting for co-morbid and socioeconomic factors. Cardiovascular morbidity and physical limitation were identified as important determinants of delay and decreased likelihood of waitlisting. Further quantitative and qualitative work is needed to identify and intervene on modifiable barriers to improve access to KTx for the Indigenous Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e0207819
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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