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Blacks awaiting lung transplants more likely to die or be denied than whites
Date:2/15/2008

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 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.

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 1990s and the early 2000s, 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 wal
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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