HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kidney Transplant Recipients - Gender Gap

The New York Times reports on a new Johns Hopkins showing that older women are less likely to end up on the kidney transplant waiting list. Roni C. Rabin writes,

Women are less likely to receive kidney transplants than men, and researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that this gap primarily affects older women — even though they fare as well or better than men their age after a transplant.  . . .

They found that women 45 and younger were as likely as men to be placed on a transplant waiting list. But as women aged, their chances of getting on the list dropped, getting worse with each decade, said the lead author, Dr. Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins.

By the time women were 46 to 55, they were 3 percent less likely to be put on the transplant list. They were 15 percent less likely to be placed on the list at ages 56 to 65; 29 percent less likely at 66 to 75; and 59 percent less likely to be listed by the time they were 75 or older, Dr. Segev said.  The study was published in The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Dr. Segev suggested that caregivers, family members and maybe the patients perceived older women to be more frail than they really are. “A lot of older women die without having an opportunity to get on the transplant list,” he said.

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