TUESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Girls are much less likely
than boys to be placed on a kidney transplant waiting list, a new
Researchers analyzed data from almost 4,500 dialysis patients
younger than 21 years of age at 150 kidney treatment centers in
Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and the United States. The results
showed that girls were 22 percent less likely than boys to be
placed on a waiting list for a new kidney.
There were no obvious reasons, such as medical factors or family
preference, to account for this gender difference, said the
researchers at the University of California Davis School of
They also found that girls were less likely to have pre-emptive
kidney transplants and less likely to have a living-related
The study was published online April 20 in the journal
The sooner a young person with advanced chronic kidney disease
receives a new kidney, the better their long-term health and the
longer the life of the kidney, experts said.
"If the goal is to get them transplanted as soon as possible,
then they need to be wait-listed as soon as possible," study lead
author Stephanie Nguyen, assistant professor of pediatric
nephrology, said in a UC Davis news release. "The longer they're
waiting for a transplant, the worse their outcomes will be."
Another expert at UC Davis agreed. "Children who face kidney
transplant fare best when they receive the organ without undergoing
dialysis," explained Dr. Lavjay Butani, professor of pediatric
nephrology in the UC Davis School of Medicine and chief of
pediatric nephrology. Butani, who has conducted his own study into
the issue, noted that, "the longer the dialysis prior to the
operation, the worse is the survival of the kidneys."
He said the new study "poses important questions that need to be
addressed, to better explore and understand the reasons behind this
gender difference in access to organ transplant."
According to Nguyen, doctors must be sure to carefully monitor
the transplant evaluation process and to ensure that girls are
given the same chance as boys to receive a new kidney as soon as
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
kidney failure in children.