Health Disparities in Kidney Transplantation for African Americans

Kimberly Harding, Tesfaye B. Mersha, Phuong Thu Pham, Amy D. Waterman, Fern J. Webb, Joseph A. Vassalotti, Susanne B. Nicholas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: The persistent challenges of bridging healthcare disparities for African Americans (AAs) in need of kidney transplantation continue to be unresolved at the national level. This healthcare disparity is multifactorial: stemming from limited kidney donors suitable for AAs; inconsistent care coordination and suboptimal risk factor control; social determinants, low socioeconomic status, reduced access to care; and mistrust of clinicians and the healthcare system. Summary: There are numerous opportunities to significantly lessen the disparities in kidney transplantation for AAs through the following measures: the adoption of new care and patient engagement models that include education, enhanced practice-level cultural sensitivity, and timely referral as well as increased research on the impact of the environment on genetic risk, and implementation of new transplantation-related policies. Key Messages: This systematic review describes pretransplant concerns related to access to kidney transplantation, posttransplant complications, and policy interventions to address the challenging issues associated with kidney transplantation in AAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • African American
  • Call to action
  • Donor
  • Education
  • Gene variants
  • Health disparities
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Outcome


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