Young African Americans do worse on dialysis
Young African-Americans do much worse on kidney dialysis than their white counterparts, and many more should be referred for transplants rather than staying on the blood-filtering process indefinitely, according to a new study.
Those studies, however, weren’t accounting for age. Blacks over 50 do still have a slightly better outcome on dialysis when they have end-stage kidney disease, the researchers said.
“As a medical community, we have been advising young black patients of treatment options for kidney failure based on the notion that they do better on dialysis than their white counterparts,” said the study leader Dorry L. Segev, an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins, in a statement. “This new study shows that, actually, young blacks have a substantially higher risk of dying on dialysis, and we should instead be counseling them based on this surprising new evidence.”
Researchers looked at 1.3 million patients and found black patients that were aged 18 to 30 were twice as likely to die on dialysis than white patients. Those aged 31 to 40 were 1.5 times as likely to die.
Yet, of the 18-30-year-old black patients, 32 were referred for transplants from 1995-2009 while 55 percent of white patients were referred for transplants.
Segev, a transplant surgeon, wasn’t sure why the disparity exists, though he speculated that blacks may be less likely to have good insurance that would have provided adequate care in earlier stages of their disease or, perhaps, they may have higher rates of hypertension.