Minorities represent 55 percent of the patients currently awaiting transplants, yet they represent only about 27 percent of those donating organs.
The risk of end-stage kidney disease for some minorities (Hispanics, Native American and African American) is three to four times higher than for the Caucasian population. Minorities are hard hit by hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disorders… diseases which lead to organ failure. In fact, of the patients nationwide awaiting kidney transplants, 35% are African American, 18% are Hispanic (18%), 7% are Asian.
Hispanics, Native Americans and African-Americans between the ages of 45 and 65 have twice as much diabetes as do Caucasians in this age group.
Because the minority population continues to grow, making up 20% of the US population, the need for minority donation and transplantation can be anticipated to grow as well.
While the number of minorities waiting for a transplant continues to grow, minority organ donations lag behind those of the Caucasian population. Deceased donations are overwhelmingly from Caucasians, 67%; followed by African Americans, 17%; Hispanic, 13%; and Asian, 2.4%,
It’s critical to increase the availability of minority donors, in order to save lives within those communities. Fact is the best matches between donors and recipients often lie between members of the same race. Currently, the lack of minority organ donors decreases the number of well-matched kidneys and pancreases available for minority recipients.