HealthDay News — Among waitlisted candidates and kidney transplant recipients, a considerable proportion of deaths in 2020 were attributed to COVID-19, according to research published online Sept. 29 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Sumit Mohan, M.D., Ph.D., from the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and colleagues describe 2020 mortality patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic for kidney transplant candidates and recipients. Demographics and clinical factors associated with COVID-19-related mortality in 2020, other deaths in 2020, and deaths in 2019 in waitlisted candidates and transplant recipients were reported using national registry data.

The researchers found that 11 percent of deaths among waitlisted patients in 2020 were attributed to COVID-19; these candidates were more likely to be male and obese and were more likely to belong to racial/ethnic minorities. Among active transplant recipients in the United States in 2020, 16 percent of deaths were attributed to COVID-19. Those who died of COVID-19 were younger, were more likely to be obese, had lower educational attainment, and more likely belonged to racial/ethnic minorities compared with those who died of other causes in 2019 or 2020. Compared with 2019, in 2020, overall mortality was higher among waitlisted candidates than among kidney transplant recipients (24 versus 20 percent).

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“There was a large increase in deaths among these susceptible individuals, with a disproportionate impact on minorities,” Mohan said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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