Disparity of access to kidney transplantation by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Namrata Khanal, Paul D. Lawton, Alan Cass, Stephen P. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare the likelihood of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians being placed on the waiting list for transplantation of a kidney from a deceased donor; to compare the subsequent likelihood of transplantation.

Design, setting and participants: Observational cohort study; analysis of data from the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant (ANZDATA) Registry for patients aged 18−60 years at the start of renal replacement therapy, who commenced renal replacement therapy in Australia between 28 June 2006 and 31 December 2016.

Main outcome measures: Time to wait-listing; time to kidney transplantation after wait-listing.

Results: 10 839 patients met the inclusion criteria, of whom 2039 (19%) were Indigenous Australians; 217 Indigenous and 3829 non-Indigenous patients were active on the waiting list at least once during the study period. The hazard ratio (HR) for wait-listing (Indigenous v non-Indigenous patients, adjusted for patient-and disease-related factors) in the first year of renal replacement therapy varied with age and remoteness (range, 0.11 [95% CI, 0.07−0.15] to 0.36 [95% CI, 0.16−0.56]); in subsequent years the adjusted HR was 0.90 (95% CI, 0.50−1.6). The adjusted HR for transplantation during the first year of wait-listing did not differ significantly from 1.0; for subsequent years of wait-listing, however, the adjusted HR was 0.40 (95% CI, 0.29−0.55).

Conclusion: Disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients with end-stage kidney disease in access to kidney transplantation are not explained by patient-or disease-related factors. Changes in policy and practice are needed to reduce these differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2018

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