American Journal of TransplantationMore Press Releases related to this journal
Patients Who Are Married Have Better Chance at Receiving Kidney Transplant
A new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation (AJT) reveals that being married is associated with better access to renal transplantation compared to those who were never married or widowed.
When a patient has end stage kidney failure, the treatment of choice is kidney transplantation. Previous research has shown that males, Caucasians, and people with high income and higher education have better access to this treatment.
Led by Muhammad Khattak, M.D., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, researchers analyzed 3650 patient records kept by the United States Renal Data System and reviewed the marital status at the start time of dialysis. The association of marital status was analyzed with two outcomes: 1) likelihood of being placed on the waiting list for renal transplantation or first transplant 2) likelihood of receiving kidney transplant in patients already listed. The patients were divided in three categories; 1) Not married (including never been married and widowed); 2) Divorced or separated; and 3) Currently married.
After adjustments for the included independent variables and compared to individuals never Married or widowed, those who were divorced/separated (HR 1.55, p<0.001) and currently Married (HR 1.54, p<0.001) had a higher likelihood of being placed on the transplant waiting List. Once listed, married individuals had higher chances of getting transplanted as well (HR 1.28, p=0.033). It was demonstrated that being married is associated with better access to renal transplantation compared to those who were never married/widowed.
“In the time of healthcare reforms, it is essential to identify the potential bias affecting access to a well established and superior treatment modality such as renal transplantation,” Khattak notes. “As marital status is not an easily modifiable factor, these findings reveal the disparities in access to renal transplant and add to the list of different variables affecting it.”
"This important result may reflect the vital nature of good family support to help patients through the relatively involved process of preparing for a transplant and getting on the list. It might also speak to issues of commitment and partnership that help patients proactively work with their doctors and nurses to complete the testing required for being listed for transplantation," adds AJT Editor-in-Chief, Allan Kirk.