Nav: Home

Study finds racial disparities in pregnancy rates for kidney transplant recipients

August 12, 2019

Among women who are kidney transplant recipients, Hispanic women have a higher likelihood of pregnancy than white women, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC). The study, published in the PLOS ONE journal, demonstrates the importance of understanding the factors responsible for these disparities in pregnancy rates.

"Child-bearing is an integral part of a woman's life," says Silvi Shah, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE Program in the Division of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Although kidney transplant improves reproductive function in women with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), pregnancy in patients with a kidney transplant is challenging due to risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Since pregnancy is not uncommon in kidney transplant recipients, it further becomes important to examine the racial differences and factors associated with pregnancy in this high-risk population."

The study evaluated 7,966 women of childbearing age who received a kidney transplant between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2011, using the United States Renal Data System. The study finds a pregnancy rate of 13.8 per-thousand person years (PTPY) overall, and Hispanic women were 56% more likely than white women to become pregnant.

Overall, 293 pregnancies were identified with a mean age of the study population at the time of transplant of just under 34 years. The rate of pregnancy was highest in Hispanic women (21.4 PTPY) followed by blacks (8.7 PTPY) and whites (7.8 PTPY). The overall rates of pregnancy were higher during the second and third year following the kidney transplant than the first year after the transplant. The study also showed that among transplant recipients, pregnancy was more likely in women with ESKD due to cystic disease or glomerulonephritis (an inflammation in the kidneys) as compared to women with ESKD due to diabetes. The type of donor, duration of dialysis and type of immunosuppression at transplant did not impact the likelihood of pregnancy.

Shah says the study is unique in that it evaluates a comprehensive racial group of patients in the first three years post-transplant to better understand the incidence of pregnancy and factors associated with it among kidney transplant patients. The study further took into account patients with complete Medicare coverage, thus avoiding the potential shortfalls of registries dependent on voluntary reporting or patient recall. The research shows for the first time that pregnancy rates in women with kidney transplants remained constant and did not show a decline, and, in fact, were higher than those shown in prior reports over the previous 10 years.

"This is telling us that there are additional factors, which could be cultural or biological, contributing to these racial differences," Shah says. "While socioeconomic factors and health literacy could play an important role, the real reasons remain unknown. It is imperative to advocate for the inclusion of all races in all studies, and tailor therapies to specific biological states."
-end-
Assisting in the research were Prasoon Verma, MD, from the Division of Neonatology at Cincinnati Children's; Annette Christianson and Karthikeyan Meganathan, research associates in the Department of Biomedical Informatics; Anthony Leonard, PhD, research associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine; Daniel Schauer, MD, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine; and Charuhas Thakar, MD, professor and director of the Division of Nephrology, Kidney C.A.R.E. Program, all in the UC College of Medicine.

University of Cincinnati

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.