A comparison of deprivation indices and application to transplant populations

Christine Park, Tyler Schappe, Sarah Peskoe, Dinushika Mohottige, Norine W. Chan, Nrupen A. Bhavsar, L. Ebony Boulware, Jane Pendergast, Allan D. Kirk, Lisa M. McElroy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The choice of deprivation index can influence conclusions drawn regarding the extent of deprivation within a community and the identification of the most deprived communities in the United States. This study aimed to determine the degree of correlation among deprivation indices commonly used to characterize transplant populations. We used a retrospective cohort consisting of adults listed for liver or kidney transplants between 2008 and 2018 to compare 4 deprivation indices: neighborhood deprivation index, social deprivation index (SDI), area deprivation index, and social vulnerability index. Pairwise correlation between deprivation indices by transplant referral regions was measured using Spearman correlations of population-weighted medians and upper quartiles. In total, 52 individual variables were used among the 4 deprivation indices with 25% overlap. For both organs, the correlation between the population-weighted 75th percentile of the deprivation indices by transplant referral region was highest between SDI and social vulnerability index (liver and kidney, 0.93) and lowest between area deprivation index and SDI (liver, 0.19 and kidney, 0.15). The choice of deprivation index affects the applicability of research findings across studies examining the relationship between social risk and clinical outcomes. Appropriate application of these measures to transplant populations requires careful index selection based on the intended use and included variable relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical research/practice
  • community assessment
  • disparities
  • disparitiesqualitative research
  • health equity
  • kidney transplantation/nephrologyliver transplantation/hepatology
  • social deprivation
  • transplant


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