February 7, 2013
A 2011 study from Johns Hopkins University has found that African Americans are less likely to receive a kidney transplant than Caucasians are. Currently, African Americans make up one third of the transplant list, but only receive about one seventh of all transplants. When African Americans do manage to get a transplant, they’re up to 76% less likely to have a live donor. Kidneys from deceased donors usually produce worse long-term outcomes than those from live donors.
The researchers surveyed 275 facilities. They were surprised to learn that those who treated the highest number of African American patients had the lowest percentage of African Americans who received transplants. The experts theorized that the amount of chronic illness in the African American community, combined with poor insurance coverage, make it nearly impossible for African Americans to find a suitable kidney donor.
Dr. Frederick Gooding delivers lectures on health policy and the impact of African American doctors. In 2011, Dr. Gooding spoke at the “Strategies on Closing the Wealth Gap” forum for the Bethune-Dubois Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland.