The results of research on dialysis patients, recently published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, are leaving researchers puzzled. The study included more than 11,000 young black and white adults with kidney failure who received dialysis treatment between 2006 and 2009. They were stunned to find that younger black patients in poor neighborhoods had the highest risk of death.
After studying data from subject patients for almost two years, researchers found that wealth played a huge factor in survival. Black patients between the ages of 18 to 30 who live in poor neighborhoods had a higher risk of death than all other black and white patients. In fact, they were 1.5 times more likely to die. The puzzling part of the study is that in wealthier neighborhoods, the racial factor was far less. So it seems as wealth decreases, so do the risks for young black dialysis patients.
Researchers do not know why wealth would have any impact on the survival rate among dialysis patients. As one researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Dr. Tanya Johns stated, "We need to better understand how the wealth of someone's neighborhood affects patients' health while on dialysis."
No other medical factors were identified that could explain the results of the study. More research will be conducted in order to solve this puzzling medical mystery.
To see the full study, visit http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/early/2014/06/10/ASN.2013111207.abstract