FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Native Americans are less likely than whites to get kidney transplants and more likely to die while waiting for a new organ, researchers say.
The investigators also found that Native Americans who do receive kidney transplants have slightly lower three-year survival rates compared to whites in the United States.
The results from an analysis of 16 years of national data were presented recently at a meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, in San Diego.
The lower three-year survival rate "is driven primarily by the prevalence of lower-quality donors among Native Americans and a greater negative impact from such donor characteristics on survival among Native Americans," lead researcher Sarah Stith, from the University of New Mexico, and colleagues said in a society news release.
"Native Americans also tend to receive transplants at centers associated with worse outcomes and would benefit disproportionately from receiving transplants at better centers," the researchers added.
Native Americans are at increased risk for kidney disease (current rate about 15 percent) and also have high rates of kidney failure, the study authors pointed out.
Data and conclusions presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The National Kidney Foundation has more about kidney transplantation.