Question How do rates of kidney transplant and transplant outcomes differ for adults with vs adults without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)? [see 2/16/23 post]
Findings In this cohort study, adults with IDD were 54% less likely to be evaluated for and 62% less likely to receive a kidney transplant than adults without IDD. However, among those who received a kidney transplant, postoperative outcomes were similar for adults with and without IDD.
Meaning These data suggest the IDD should not categorically disqualify adults from transplant and underscore the urgent need for antidiscrimination initiatives to promote the receipt of equitable care for this population.
Importance Improving equity in organ transplant access for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) is a topic of social discourse in mainstream media, state legislation, and national legislation. However, few studies have compared evaluation rates, transplant rates, and outcomes among adults with and without IDD.
Objective To compare rates of kidney transplant and transplant-specific outcomes between propensity–score matched groups of adults with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD [also referred to as end-stage renal disease (ESRD)]) with and without co-occurring IDD.
Design, Setting, and Participants This retrospective cohort study included all Medicare inpatient and outpatient standard analytical files from 2013 through 2020. A total of 1 413 655 adult Medicare beneficiaries with ESKD were identified. Propensity–score matching was used to balance cohorts based on age, sex, race, follow-up duration, and Charlson Comorbidity Index. The matched cohorts consisted of 21 384 adults with ESKD (10 692 of whom had IDD) and 1258 kidney transplant recipients (629 of whom had IDD). Data were analyzed between June 1, 2022, and August 1, 2022.
Main Outcomes and Measures Evaluation for kidney transplant, receipt of kidney transplant, perioperative complications, readmission, mortality, graft rejection, and graft failure.
Results Of the 21 384 propensity–score matched adults with ESKD, the median (IQR) age was 55 (43-65) years, 39.2% were male, 27.4% were Black, 64.1% were White, and 8.5% identified as another race or ethnicity. After propensity score matching within the ESKD cohort, 633 patients with IDD (5.9%) received a kidney transplant compared with 1367 of adults without IDD (12.8%). Adults with IDD were 54% less likely than matched peers without IDD to be evaluated for transplant (odds ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.43-0.50) and 62% less likely to receive a kidney transplant (odds ratio, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.34-0.42). Among matched cohorts of kidney transplant recipients, rates of perioperative complications, readmission, and graft failure were similar for adults with and without IDD.
Conclusions and Relevance Using the largest cohort of adult kidney transplant recipients with IDD to date, the study team found that rates of evaluation and transplant were lower despite yielding equivalent outcomes. These data support consideration of adults with IDD for kidney transplant and underscore the urgent need for antidiscrimination initiatives to promote the receipt of equitable care for this population.