PITTSBURGH, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Gender, race and insurance status influence liver transplantation, U.S. researchers suggest.
The study, published in the American Journal of Transplantation, find disparities especially apparent in the early stages of the process when evaluation and listing occurs -- 61 percent of men were evaluated for transplantation compared to 39 percent of women; 73.8 percent of whites were evaluated compared to 8.6 percent of blacks; and 62 percent of patients with commercial insurance were evaluated compared to 4.7 percent with Medicare only.
"There currently is no comprehensive oversight of liver disease patients as they go through evaluation, referral and are put on a wait list for transplantation," lead study author Cindy Bryce of the University of Pittsburgh says in a statement.
"We know what happens once patients are selected for transplantation since they are closely monitored, but what happens prior to this point is fairly invisible. Ours is the first major study to look at whether everyone with liver-related conditions has a fair shot of being considered for transplantation, and points out that many patients are being excluded from this process."
The study tracked 144,507 patients hospitalized in Pennsylvania with liver-related conditions.