Minorities represent 58 percent of the almost 120,000 patients currently awaiting transplants, yet they represent only about 25 percent of those donating organs. The percentage of minorities waiting for a transplant in California is 75% of the over 21,000 wait-listed Californians.
The risk of end-stage kidney disease for some minorities (African American, Hispanics, and Native American) is three to four times higher than for the Caucasian population. Blacks and other minorities are hard hit by hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disorders… diseases which lead to organ failure. In fact, of the 98,311 people nationwide waiting for kidneys, 32,646 are African American (33%), 19,708 are Hispanic (20%), and 8,727 are Asian/Pacific Islanders (8.9%). (2017)
Also, African-Americans and Hispanics 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 (they now make up approximately one third 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 white population. A breakdown by race in 2011 shows that deceased donations are overwhelmingly from the white population (66.7%). The black population accounts for 15.7%; Hispanic, 13.1%; and Asian / Pacific Islanders, 2.4%.
It’s critical to increase the availability of minority donors, in order to save lives within those communities. Currently, the lack of minority organ donors decreases the number of well-matched kidneys and pancreases available for minority recipients.