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      Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations

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      Journal of Economic Perspectives
      American Economic Association

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          A study of the quality of life and cost-utility of renal transplantation.

          The objective of this study was to assess the cost-utility of renal transplantation compared with dialysis. To accomplish this, a prospective cohort of pre-transplant patients were followed for up to two years after renal transplantation at three University-based Canadian hospitals. A total of 168 patients were followed for an average of 19.5 months after transplantation. Health-related quality of life was assessed using a hemodialysis questionnaire, a transplant questionnaire, the Sickness Impact Profile, and the Time Trade-Off Technique. Fully allocated costs were determined by prospectively recording resource use in all patients. A societal perspective was taken. By six months after transplantation, the mean health-related quality of life scores of almost all measures had improved compared to pre-transplantation, and they stayed improved throughout the two years of follow up. The mean time trade-off score was 0.57 pre-transplant and 0.70 two years after transplantation. The proportion of individuals employed increased from 30% before transplantation to 45% two years after transplantation. Employment prior to transplantation [relative risk (RR) = 23], graft function (RR 10) and age (RR 1.6 for every decrease in age by one decade), independently predicted employment status after transplantation. The cost of pre-transplant care ($66,782 Can 1994) and the cost of the first year after transplantation ($66,290) were similar. Transplantation was considerably less expensive during the second year after transplantation ($27,875). Over the two years, transplantation was both more effective and less costly than dialysis. This was true for all subgroups of patients examined, including patients older than 60 and diabetics. We conclude that renal transplantation was more effective and less costly than dialysis in all subgroups of patients examined.
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            Effect of waiting time on renal transplant outcome.

            Numerous factors are known to impact on patient survival after renal transplantation. Recent studies have confirmed a survival advantage for renal transplant patients over those waiting on dialysis. We aimed to investigate the hypothesis that longer waiting times are more deleterious than shorter waiting times, that is, to detect a "dose effect" for waiting time. We analyzed 73,103 primary adult renal transplants registered at the United States Renal Data System Registry from 1988 to 1997 for the primary endpoints of death with functioning graft and death-censored graft failure by Cox proportional hazard models. All models were corrected for donor and recipient demographics and other factors known to affect outcome after kidney transplantation. A longer waiting time on dialysis is a significant risk factor for death-censored graft survival and patient death with functioning graft after renal transplantation (P < 0.001 each). Relative to preemptive transplants, waiting times of 6 to 12 months, 12 to 24 months, 24 to 36, 36 to 48, and over 48 months confer a 21, 28, 41, 53, and 72% increase in mortality risk after transplantation, respectively. Relative to preemptive transplants, waiting times of 0 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months, 12 to 24 months, and over 24 months confer a 17, 37, 55, and 68% increase in risk for death-censored graft loss after transplantation, respectively. Longer waiting times on dialysis negatively impact on post-transplant graft and patient survival. These data strongly support the hypothesis that patients who reach end-stage renal disease should receive a renal transplant as early as possible in order to enhance their chances of long-term survival.
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              Kidney Exchange

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Economic Perspectives
                Journal of Economic Perspectives
                American Economic Association
                0895-3309
                July 2007
                July 2007
                : 21
                : 3
                : 3-24
                Article
                10.1257/jep.21.3.3
                19728419
                4d29ae8d-f057-4f6e-99d1-82754f00fe62
                © 2007
                History

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