The Unemployed Are Less Likely to Receive Kidney Transplants

Recent research concludes that a person with a job is 2.24 times more likely to be put on a list for a transplant than someone who is unemployed.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Aug. 21, 2013, 8:52 a.m.

Un­em­ploy­ment is hor­rible for your health.

This fact is well-doc­u­mented: Long-term un­em­ploy­ment is as­so­ci­ated with de­clines in men­tal well-be­ing and in­creases in mor­tal­ity. In all, “los­ing a job be­cause of an es­tab­lish­ment clos­ure in­creased the odds of fair or poor health by 54 per­cent, and among re­spond­ents with no preex­ist­ing health con­di­tions, it in­creased the odds of a new likely health con­di­tion by 83 per­cent,” a 2009 study in the journ­al Demo­graphy con­cluded. Even those un­em­ployed who re­tain health in­sur­ance after be­ing axed from their jobs have great­er com­plic­a­tions, as this chart from the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion in­dic­ates:

 

But per­haps the more dis­turb­ing in­dic­a­tion is this: Com­bined with the in­creased like­li­hood of health prob­lems, the un­em­ployed have a de­creased like­li­hood of re­ceiv­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate in­ter­ven­tion. This is true even when they re­tain in­sur­ance. Ac­cord­ing to the CDC, “Among adults with private health in­sur­ance, one in sev­en (14.7 per­cent) un­em­ployed adults ex­per­i­enced either a delay or lack of needed med­ic­al care be­cause of cost com­pared with 8.7 per­cent of em­ployed adults.”

This holds true even when the in­ter­ven­tion may mean life or death. End-stage ren­al dis­ease, “the com­plete or al­most com­plete fail­ure of the kid­neys to work,” isn’t pleas­ant. In or­der for a per­son to sur­vive it, they need either con­tinu­al dia­lys­is or a trans­plant. But re­cent re­search re­veals a dis­par­ity fall­ing along em­ploy­ment lines.

In a sur­vey of 429,409 pa­tients with end-stage ren­al dis­ease, those who had jobs were 2.24 times more likely to be placed on a wait­ing list for a kid­ney trans­plant. Once placed on a list, the em­ployed full-time were 1.65 times more likely to re­ceive the trans­plant. And hav­ing in­sur­ance didn’t help the un­em­ployed in this case either. When the re­search­ers ran the num­bers on those un­em­ployed who had in­sur­ance, they found “the res­ults to be es­sen­tially the same and still sig­ni­fic­ant.”

And if all of that isn’t down­er enough for you, con­sider this: The un­em­ployed are much, much more likely to be in need of a kid­ney trans­plant. A 10-year study found “un­em­ploy­ment af­fects up to 75 per­cent of in­cid­ent ES­RD [end-stage ren­al dis­ease] pa­tients,” and “this rate in­creases with time on dia­lys­is.”

So, people with ren­al dis­eases tend to be un­em­ployed, but the un­em­ployed are less likely to re­ceive kid­ney trans­plants when things get dire. The re­search­ers on the trans­plant study sug­gest a couple of reas­ons why the dis­par­ity hap­pens:

  • The un­em­ployed may be seen as ris­ki­er pa­tients. “One of the primary con­cerns of trans­plant cen­ters is the re­cip­i­ent’s abil­ity to af­ford im­mun­osup­press­ive med­ic­a­tions post-trans­plant,” the au­thors write. Those drugs can cost between $2,000 and $14,000  a year. In­ab­il­ity to pay for the drugs  “could be im­plic­ated in al­most half the cases and might be per­ceived as bar­ri­er by a trans­plant pro­gram.”

  • Those stressed with un­em­ploy­ment may not be seek­ing care im­me­di­ately, which can “con­trib­ute to late re­fer­rals by neph­ro­lo­gists and delayed eval­u­ations by trans­plant cen­ters.”

What We're Following See More »
DONATING TO FOOD BANKS
Government Buying $20 Million in Cheese
10 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Thanks to competition from Europe, America's cheese stockpiles are at a 30-year high. Enter the U.S. government, which announced it's buying 11 million pounds of the stuff (about $20 million). The cheese will be donated to food banks.

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
THE SHAKE-UP CONTINUES
RNC’s Spicer to Work from Trump HQ
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican party will coordinate more closely going forward, with the GOP's top communicator and chief strategist Sean Spicer increasingly working out of Trump campaign headquarters, the campaign confirmed Sunday."

Source:
×