Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blacks Awaiting Lung Transplants More Likely To Die Or Be Denied Than Whites

Date:
February 18, 2008
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Blacks with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were less likely to receive a lung transplant and more likely to die or be removed from the transplant list than whites, according to Columbia University Medical Center researchers.

Blacks with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were less likely to receive a lung transplant and more likely to die or be removed from the transplant list than whites, according to Columbia University Medical Center researchers.

"These disparities are consistent with those observed among patients awaiting kidney and liver transplantation and among patients with other advanced lung diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis," wrote lead researcher, David Lederer, M.D., M.S., of Columbia University Medical Center. "This finding was independent of age, lung function, cardiovascular risk factors, transplant center volume, type of health insurance coverage, and neighborhood poverty level."

The researchers retrospectively assessed the entire cohort of 280 non-Hispanic black adults and 5,272 non-Hispanic white adults diagnosed with COPD or emphysema who were awaiting lung transplantation on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) list between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2004. The investigators tracked the outcomes (death, transplantation, removal from the list, or still living) of the transplant-awaiting patients to the end of the study period and analyzed the results with respect to age, sex, disease severity, community poverty level and transplant center volume.

"We have shown that black patients with COPD were less likely to undergo lung transplantation after listing than white patients in the United States during the late 1990's and the early 2000's," wrote Dr. Lederer.

The researchers did find that blacks were also less likely to have private insurance and more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods and have greater cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, pulmonary hypertension and lower six-minute walk distances than whites. However, even these factors did not account for the findings.

"Differences in insurance, socioeconomic status and cardiovascular risk factors explained some but not all of the higher risk of death or removal from the waiting list," said Dr. Lederer.

In the post-hoc analysis, the researchers also found that Hispanics had similar outcomes to non-Hispanic blacks.

Strikingly, only 280 black and 64 Hispanic patients with COPD were put on the lung transplant waiting list in the United States during the 10-year study period. "Based on what we know about COPD, we expected that twice as many black patients would have been put on the ling transplant waiting list. Our findings point to significant barriers to accessing lung transplantation for minorities," said Dr. Lederer.

For physicians, the implications of this research are clear. "These findings should alert primary care physicians and pulmonologists to consider referral of black patients with COPD for transplantation at the earliest signs of advanced disease."

To protect themselves from these disparities, "patients with COPD should prepare themselves for transplantation by discussing all of their treatment options with their doctor. To be eligible for lung transplantation, patients must quit smoking, use medications and oxygen as prescribed, and participate in a pulmonary rehabilitation program to increase their strength and endurance," said Dr. Lederer.

While the organ allocation system in place during the study period has been replaced with one that prioritizes patients based on the survival benefit of transplantation, Dr. Lederer cautions, the effects of poor insurance and poverty will likely still place blacks at increased risk for removal from the list or death.

"The next step will be to identify the specific barriers that patients encounter, while trying to get on the waiting list for a lung transplant. Once we figure out the root of the problem, we can begin to improve access for all patients with COPD."

The findings were published in the second issue for February of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Blacks Awaiting Lung Transplants More Likely To Die Or Be Denied Than Whites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080215082820.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2008, February 18). Blacks Awaiting Lung Transplants More Likely To Die Or Be Denied Than Whites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080215082820.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Blacks Awaiting Lung Transplants More Likely To Die Or Be Denied Than Whites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080215082820.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins