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Asian and dark skinned patients ‘less likely to have successful kidney transplants’

Dark-skinned and Asian people are less likely to have a successful kidney transplant when compared to their white peers, a study has found.

The study was carried out by the doctors at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds where 20,000 kidney transplants were analysed. The ethnicity of both the donor and recipient were known by the researchers.

The findings revealed that four out of five white people (81 percent) who received a kidney from a white donor were still healthy seven years later with the organ also working fine.

But the figures dropped to 70.6 percent for Asian donors and patients, and 69.2 percent for dark-skinned-to-dark-skinned transplants.

Moreover, the study show kidney received from white donors has a better success rate when given to a person of different ethnicity. Also, there are cases when the kidneys from deceased white persons are functioning perfectly (80.5 percent) after seven years, irrespective of the recipient’s ethnicity.

On the other hand, the success rate drops to 71.9 and 74 percent for Asian and dark-skinned donors, respectively.

According to Abdul Rahman Hakeem, a consultant hepatobiliary and transplant surgeon in Leeds, and also the lead author of the study – dark-skinned, Asian, and ethnic minority people have worse odds of finding a match.

“In our study, Asian people make up 12.4 percent of deceased donor recipients and dark-skinned people 6.7 percent of recipients, yet Asian people account for 1.6 percent of all donors and dark-skinned people 1.2 percent of donors.

“Increased deceased donation among ethnic minority communities would benefit the entire recipient pool by increasing the numbers of available organs and may specifically benefit the Asian and dark-skinned recipients,” he said.

The results of the new study were also presented at the recent European Society for Organ Transplantation Congress 2021.

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Written by The Editor

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