CKD Patients May Find Kidney Transplant Selection Preference Biased When They Learn How It's Applied

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Those with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) who are on dialysis and maintain employment are twice as likely to get a Kidney Transplant, according to DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. Also, new research from the University of New Hampshire states that, "If those with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) work part time or are unemployed they are substantially less likely to be placed on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List or to even actually receive a new kidney once on the list." 

Recommended Reading: ESRD Patients Who Work Full-Time Are “Much More Likely” To Receive Kidney Transplant 

In a study measuring Patient Reported Outcomes, employed ESRD patients scored higher than those who were unemployed in many areas. Additionally, many Healthcare Professionals and Providers concluded that Dialysis patients who continue to work after starting treatment were 21% less likely to have depression, and they typically described themselves as more financially secure.

Recommended Reading: Prices of Immunosuppressants have Substantially Decreased, Why are They Still So Expensive? 

A 2008 study found that overall, only 18.9% of dialysis patients aged 18 to 54 were employed. Besides obvious health concerns, employment among dialysis patients continues to be a legitimate challenge for people with CKD because of limited availability of 5:00PM or later shifts, transportation, vocational rehabilitation services, and Peritoneal Dialysis or Home Hemodialysis training. 

Recommended Reading: ESRD Patients Can Help Themselves While Helping Others By Volunteering 

Due to these inherent barriers some CKD patients find using work as a selection criteria for a Kidney Transplant to be biased or even unfair.  KidneyBuzz.com believes that these findings should not alarm you but be used to strategize with your healthcare team to improve your chances of obtaining a Kidney Transplant sooner. If you believe that you will likely experience barriers based on your employment situation then check with your Social Worker, Case Manager and Financial Counselor at your Transplant Center. But whatever you do, DO NOT become discouraged, focus on using this information to understand and better prepare yourself to maneuver within the current Kidney Transplant System.

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References: 

Press Release. "DaVita Highlights Benefits for Dialysis Patients Who Work." Http://www.businesswire.com/. Business Wire.

Curtin R, Oberley E, Sacksteder P, Friedman A. Differences between employed and nonemployed dialysis patients. American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

"Study Shows Unemployed ESRD Patients Are Less Likely to Get Kidney Transplants."  Nephrology News and Issues: Renal and Dialysis News and Resources for the Kidney-Care Community.