WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Black recipients of liver transplants (LTs) have lower survival compared with Whites or Hispanics, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Brian P. Lee, M.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues calculated the differences in post-LT mortality among races. The cohort included 46,997 LT recipients: 3,898 were Black, 36,560 were White, and 6,539 were Hispanic.

The researchers found that Black LT recipients had a higher probability of age-adjusted mortality compared with Whites in most years, but this finding was not seen among Hispanics. In a multivariable analysis, compared with Whites, Blacks had an elevated risk for mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.15) and Hispanics had a lower risk (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.78). Among Blacks versus Whites, the differences in post-LT mortality narrowed between 2002 and 2009, were similar between 2010 and 2013, and worsened between 2014 and 2018. Larger race differences for mortality were seen for mortality beyond one year versus within one year post-LT and for patients without hepatitis C virus versus patients with hepatitis C. The strongest mediator of the Black-White disparity in 2010 to 2018 was alcohol-associated liver disease (13.9 percent).

“Our findings are a huge wake-up call that physicians and other health care professionals need to do better in delivering equitable care,” Lee said in a statement. “Hopefully we can begin to invest in interventions that acknowledge previously undiscovered causes of inequity that will successfully narrow the disparity gap in liver transplant survival rates.”

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