New Duke NIH study to address race disparities in kidney transplantation

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Ebony Boulware, MD, chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and vice-dean for translational science, is no stranger to studies to improve the quality and equity of health care and health outcomes for those affected by chronic illness including kidney disease. 
Last week Dr. Boulware, as Principal Investigator, received an NIH R01 award extending over the next four years in support of a study of health system interventions designed to overcome roadblocks which lead to disparities in early living donor kidney transplantation. 
This grant, entitled “Health system outreach to eliminate disparities in living kidney transplants” will implement and recruit patients with kidney disease from North Carolina and Mississippi to determine whether health system surveillance tools paired with social worker and nurse transplant coordinator outreach will improve patients’ rates of early consideration for kidney transplants, when appropriate.

Dr. Boulware notes, “Blacks have two-four fold greater risk of developing kidney failure compared to non-Blacks, yet they are less likely to receive early kidney transplants, and disparities in early transplantation have actually worsened over the past 10 years. Our study will help identify strategies that could directly address this problem to improve health equity for all individuals with kidney disease."


Three other centers will collaborate with Duke on this project, including: University of Mississippi Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and University of South Carolina. Co-investigators from Duke are: Clarissa Diamantidis, MD, Joseph Lunyera, MBChB, Jane Pendergast, PhD, George Jackson, PhD, Matthew Ellis, MD, Blake Cameron, MD, Debra Sudan, MD, and Tara Strigo, MPH.