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Melk, Anette; Babitsch, Birgit; Borchert-Moerlins, Bianca; Claas, Frans; Dipchand, Anne I.; Eifert, Sandra; Eiz-Vesper, Britta; Epping, Jelena; Falk, Christine S.; Foster, Bethany; Geyer, Siegfried; Gjertson, David; Greer, Mark; Haubitz, Marion; Lau, Ashley; Maecker-Kolhoff, Britta; Memaran, Nima; Messner, Hans A.; Ostendorf, Karen; Samuel, Undine; Schmidt, Bernhard M. W.; Tullius, Stefan G.; West, Lori; Wong, Germaine; Zimmermann, Tanja; Berenguer, Marina (2019): Equally Interchangeable? How Sex and Gender Affect Transplantation. In: Transplantation, Vol. 103, No. 6: pp. 1094-1110
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Organ transplantation as an option to overcome end-stage diseases is common in countries with advanced healthcare systems and is increasingly provided in emerging and developing countries. A review of the literature points to sex-and gender-based inequity in the field with differences reported at each step of the transplant process, including access to a transplantation waiting list, access to transplantation once waitlisted, as well as outcome after transplantation. In this review, we summarize the data regarding sex-and gender-based disparity in adult and pediatric kidney, liver, lung, heart, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and argue that there are not only biological but also psychological and socioeconomic issues that contribute to disparity in the outcome, as well as an inequitable access to transplantation for women and girls. Because the demand for organs has always exceeded the supply, the transplant community has long recognized the need to ensure equity and efficiency of the organ allocation system. In the spirit of equity and equality, the authors call for recognition of these inequities and the development of policies that have the potential to ensure that girls and women have equitable access to transplantation.