Racial Disparities in Pediatric Liver Transplant Outcomes
(HealthDay News) – For children and young adults undergoing liver transplantation, there are racial disparities in outcomes, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in Liver Transplantation.
Rekha V. Thammana, MD, from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to examine racial differences in graft survival and mortality among a cohort of 208 pediatric and young adult liver transplant recipients at a large children's transplant center from 1998–2011.
The researchers found that 51% of the transplant recipients were white, 34.6% black, and 14.4% other races/ethnicities. At one, three, five, and 10 years post-transplant, graft and patient survival were higher among whites than minorities, with 10-year graft survival 84%, 60%, and 49%, for white, black, and other race/ethnicity patients, respectively. Ten-year patient survival was similarly higher in white patients vs. black and other race/ethnicity patients (92%, 65%, and 76%, respectively). The rates of graft failure and mortality were higher among minority groups vs. whites, after adjustment for demographic, clinical, and socioeconomic characteristics (graft failure: hazard ratio, 2.59 for black and 3.01 for other groups; mortality: hazard ratio, 4.24 for black and 3.09 for other groups).
"Racial/ethnic disparities exist in pediatric and young adult liver transplant outcomes that are not fully explained by measured socioeconomic status and clinical factors," the authors write.