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Characteristics of rural and urban cadaveric organ transplant donors and recipients

Weeks WB, Lushkov G, Nelson WA, Wallace AE. Characteristics of rural and urban cadaveric organ transplant donors and recipients. The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association. 2006 Jul 1; 22(3):264-8.

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CONTEXT: Health disparities have been found when comparing rural and urban populations. Purpose: To compare characteristics of rural and urban cadaveric transplant donors and recipients. METHODS: We used deidentified individual-level data on 55,929 cadaveric transplant donor-recipient exchanges between 2000 and 2003 and examined the relative rates of donating and receiving cadaveric transplants for rural compared to urban residents, as defined by ZIP Codes. FINDINGS: When compared to their urban counterparts, rural organ donors were more likely to have died from head trauma, drowning, motor vehicle accidents, or suicide and less likely to have died from cerebrovascular events, cardiac events, or homicide (P < .001 for all). Rural transplant recipients had lower levels of educational attainment and were less likely to have had the transplant financed by private insurance (P < .001 for all). While we found no statistical difference in days wait to organ transplantation, rural residents were more likely to donate than to receive cadaveric organs (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The differences in organ donation that we found warrant further exploration.

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