Racial Disparities in Patient Selection for Liver Transplantation: An Ongoing Challenge

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Clin transplant


Ample evidence suggests continued racial disparities once listed for liver transplantation, though few studies examine disparities in the selection process for listing. The objective of this study, via retrospective chart review, was to determine whether listing for liver transplantation was influenced by socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. We identified 1,968 patients with end-stage liver disease who underwent evaluation at a large, Midwestern center from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2012 (72.9% white, 19.6% black, and 7.5% other). Over half (54.6%) of evaluated patients were listed; the three most common reasons for not listing were medical contraindications (11.9%), patient expired during evaluation (7.0%), and psychosocial contraindications (5.9%). In multivariable logistic regressions (listed versus not-listed), across the three racial categories, the odds of being listed were lower for alcohol induced hepatitis (±hepatitis C), unmarried, more than one insurance, inadequate insurance, and lower annual household income quartile. Similar factors predicted time to transplant listing, including being identified as black race. Black race, even when adjusting for the above mentioned medical and socioeconomic factors, was associated with 26% lower odds of being listed and a longer time to listing decision compared to all other patients.

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ePub ahead of print

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