International Urology and Nephrology 2012 3 44 pages: 945-54
Racial and ethnic disparities among North American patients with chronic kidney disease have received significant attention. In contrast, little is known about health-related outcomes of patients with end-stage renal disease among the Roma minority, also known as gypsies, compared to Caucasian individuals. We prospectively assessed the association between Roma ethnicity and long-term clinical outcomes in kidney transplant recipients.
In a prevalent cohort of renal transplant recipients, followed up over a median of 94 months, we prospectively collected socio-demographic, medical (and transplant related) characteristics and laboratory data at baseline from 60 Roma and 1,003 Caucasian patients (mean age 45 (SD = 11) and 49 (SD = 13) years, 33 and 41% women, 18 and 17% with diabetes mellitus, respectively). Survival analyses examined the associations between Roma ethnicity and all-cause mortality and death-censored graft loss or death with functioning renal allograft.
During the follow-up period, 341 patients (32%) died. Two-hundred eighty (26%) patients died with a functioning graft and 201 patients (19%) returned to dialysis. After multivariable adjustments, Roma ethnicity was associated with 77% higher risk of all-cause mortality (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.77; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02, 3.07), two times higher risk of mortality with functioning graft (2.04 [1.17-3.55]) and 77% higher risk of graft loss (1.77 [1.01-3.13]), respectively.
Roma ethnicity is independently associated with increased mortality risk and worse graft outcome in kidney transplant recipients. Further studies should identify the factors contributing to worse outcomes among Roma patients.