Inequalities in transplant waiting list activation across italian dialysis centers

Luca Neri, Maurizio Gallieni, Lisa Allegra Rocca Rey, Silvio Volmer Bertoli, Vittorio Andreucci, Diego Brancaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The demand for kidney transplant exceeds organ supply; therefore, understanding patient-related and contextual factors associated with waiting list activation is key in ensuring that organ allocation is efficient and equitable. We sought to assess whether inequalities in wait-listing probability exist across centers and evaluate correlates of wait-listing in Italy. Methods: We linked the MigliorDialisi dataset (1,238 patients enrolled in 54 Italian hemodialysis centers) to administrative data concerning the activity of each participating center and contextual information abstracted from the Italian Institute of Statistics. We modeled the odds of waiting list activation for patients on dialysis by the subjects' sociodemographic, biomedical and psychosocial factors along with center-related and contextual factors. Results: The crude enlistment rate was 26% (95% CI 9-54) distributed as follows: 21, 34 and 33% in northern, central, and southern Italy, respectively (p <0.01). Older patients with poorer health conditions and lower expectations toward transplantation outcomes were less likely to be wait-listed in multilevel multivariable logistic regression. In the fully adjusted model there was not a statistically significant variation in wait-listing across northern, central, and southern regions. However, the variance explained by center-related factors accounted for 12% (p <0.01) of total variability in enlistment likelihood (20% in patients >65 years, p <0.01). Conclusions: Our results showed that inter-center variation exists after adjusting for case mix. Additionally, we identified individual modifiable factors associated with wait-listing inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-585
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Epidemiology
  • Healthcare inequalities
  • Hemodialysis
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Transplant waiting list

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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