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UNOS researchers study equity in access to deceased donor kidney transplants

UNOS staff researchers recently developed a new data report, the Equity in Access Report, to measure how the OPTN system for allocating deceased donor kidneys is meeting the needs of transplant candidates. The framework of the report will help the transplant community continue to track the effects of allocation policies over time and assess the merits of alternative policy proposals in the future. Providing equity in access to transplants is a key goal of the OPTN strategic plan.

UNOS researchers developed the methodology with support from the OPTN contract (Health Resources and Services Administration contract 234-2005-37011C). They also summarized their findings in a presentation at the American Transplant Congress in May.*

The researchers performed regression analysis to predict time to deceased donor kidney transplantation based on 15 individual candidate characteristics, separately for each quarterly time period from January 2010 through March 2016.

The kidney allocation system (KAS) implemented in late 2014 appears to have markedly improved equity in access for kidney transplant candidates. Even with overall improvement, however, remaining disparities are largely attributable to differences in the donor service area where the candidate is listed, as well as the candidate’s blood type and calculated panel reactive antibody (CPRA) profile.

* Stewart, Darren; Wilk, Amber; Cherikh, Wida; Harper, Ann; Urban, Read; Klassen, David; Edwards, Erick; “A New Methodology for Measuring and Monitoring Equity in Access to Deceased Donor Kidney Transplants”, American Transplant Congress, Chicago, 2017.

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