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Lung Transplant for CF Less Likely for Medicaid Recipients

Last Updated: September 14, 2012.

For adults with cystic fibrosis, the likelihood of not being accepted for lung transplantation is higher for those with low socioeconomic status, as indicated by Medicaid status, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with cystic fibrosis (CF), the likelihood of not being accepted for lung transplantation is higher for those with low socioeconomic status, as indicated by Medicaid status, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Bradley S. Quon, M.D., M.B.A., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues examined whether access to lung transplantation for CF patients is affected by socioeconomic status in a study involving 2,167 adult patients with CF who underwent their first lung transplant evaluation between 2001 and 2009. Medicaid status was the main indicator of socioeconomic status.

The researchers found that, compared with patients without Medicaid, Medicaid recipients had 1.56-fold higher odds of not being accepted for lung transplant, after adjustment for demographic characteristics and other potentially confounding variables. This correlation was independent of other indicators of socioeconomic status such as educational attainment, race, zip code-level median household income, and driving time to the nearest transplant center (odds ratio, 1.37). The odds of not being accepted for a lung transplant were also increased for patients who did not complete high school (odds ratio, 2.37) and for those residing in the lowest versus the highest zip code-level median household income category (odds ratio, 1.39), after multivariable adjustments.

"In this nationally representative study of adult CF patients, multiple indicators of low socioeconomic status were associated with higher odds of not being accepted for lung transplant," the authors write.

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