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August 10, 2011

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.

The study by Johns Hopkins researchers, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is a reversal of past belief.

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.

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 2:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Medical studies
        

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.
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