Socioeconomic status is an important determinant for patients’ accessibility to, and prognosis of, kidney transplantation. However, the association between socioeconomic dependency and kidney transplantation accessibility or prognosis after kidney transplantation remains unclear.
In this nationwide cohort study, based on the claims database of South Korea, we included 12,889 kidney transplant recipients from 2007 to 2015 and stratified them according to health insurance categories that reflect socioeconomic dependency: workplace-independent (employed, N = 3257), workplace-dependent (dependent to the workplace-independent, N = 3661), community-representative (heads of the household but self-employed or unemployed, N = 2479), community-member (N = 1618), aided-representative (heads of household receiving medical aid from the government, N = 1580), and aided-member (N = 294). The incidence of kidney transplantation was calculated to evaluate its accessibility. The risk of graft failure was assessed using the Cox regression analysis, adjusted for clinicodemographic variables, including financial status.
End-stage kidney disease patients who were employed (workplace-independent group) had the highest incidence proportion of kidney transplantation. The dependent groups’ prognoses were worse than those of their independent counterparts [workplace-dependent versus workplace-independent, HR 1.26 (1.11-1.43) and community-dependent versus community-independent, HR 1.46 (1.23-1.74)], although no difference was observed between the aided subgroups [aided-dependent versus aided-independent, adjusted HR 1.16 (0.90-1.50)].
Disparities in kidney transplantation accessibility were present in South Korea according to socioeconomic dependency; these differences may have an impact on prognosis.