Study: Rural patients get fewer organ transplants

A new study suggests that patients living in rural areas are less likely to get organ transplants, or even be put on organ donor waiting lists, though they don't see worse outcomes once they do receive the transplants. The study's researchers concluded that this may be, in part, because delayed referral to specialists is common in rural populations. All told, this is a serious issue, given that roughly 37.8 million individuals, or 14 percent of the U.S. population, live in rural areas or small towns.

The researchers examined results for 174,630 patients who were wait-listed and received heart, liver or kidney transplants between 1999 and 2004. The study, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that not only do rural donors have less transplant access, there are racial, gender and socioeconomic disparities in who gets organs.

To find out more about the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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