Results in 195 renal transplants were compared for two distinct patient populations, those from the out-of-town surrounding rural region and those from the local large metropolitan center. The 1-year cadaver kidney survival was strikingly higher in the group from out-of-town (62% vs. 43%, p < 0.001). This was partially due to better patient survival in the out-of-town patients. There were more blacks in the local group (7% vs. 48%, p < 0.001). However, this was not the explanation for the difference, since within the local group the 1-year graft survival for nonblack recipients was no better than for blacks. Other relevant factors were not different between the two groups. This strong dialysis center effect, which exerts a major influence on the subsequent likelihood of success, derives from some factor related to the derivation of the recipient. In addition to its possible implications for patient care, further study of this phenomenon would also be useful with regard to recent interest on the part of the government and other third-party payment groups in transplant center results.
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