Younger Blacks on Dialysis Fare Worse in Poor Neighborhoods: Study

News Picture: Younger Blacks on Dialysis Fare Worse in Poor Neighborhoods: Study

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Young black adult dialysis patients who live in poor neighborhoods are much more likely to die than their white counterparts, according to a new study.

This racial difference was much less pronounced in wealthier neighborhoods, according to the study, published online recently in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Among dialysis patients aged 18 to 30, blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to die at a young age, but the reasons for this difference are not well understood. The authors of this study investigated whether wealth was a factor.

"In our study, young black patients' risk of death was worse when they lived in poor neighborhoods. We need to better understand how the wealth of someone's neighborhood affects patients' health while on dialysis," Dr. Tanya Johns, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues said in a journal news release.

They analyzed data from more than 11,000 young black and white adults with kidney failure who started dialysis between 2006 and 2009. During a median follow-up of 23 months, black patients in poor neighborhoods had a higher risk of death than all other black and white patients.

When the researchers focused on patients in poor neighborhoods, they found that blacks were 1.5 times more likely to die than whites. The racial difference in death risk was far smaller in richer neighborhoods.

The study findings were not explained by medical factors or other conditions such as high blood pressure, the researchers said.

-- Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, news release, June 12, 2014