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Organ Donation and Pacific Islanders

Because data is limited, Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are often categorized simply as Asian Americans, which often fails to acknowledge the health disparities that exist within this general term. In 2014, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders made up 0.2 percent of the national population.

  • The number of organ transplants performed on Pacific Islanders in 2015 was about 20%, of the number of Pacific Islanders currently waiting for a transplant. The number of transplants performed on White Americans was 31% of the number currently waiting.
  • While 0.5% of the total candidates currently waiting for transplants are Pacific Islander, they comprised 0.2% of organ donors in 2015.
  • The number of organs recovered in 2015 from deceased Pacific Islander donors was almost twice the number of living Pacific Islander donors.
  • Native Hawaiians are more likely than whites living in Hawaii to be diagnosed with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders have higher obesity rates, and also are seven times more likely to be diagnosed with chronic liver disease, as compared to non-Hispanic Whites. These conditions are known to put the patient at risk for organ failures.

 

U.S. Transplant Waiting List – Candidates by Race/Ethnicity

Organ
All candidates
# of PI candidates
PI % of all candidates
# of White candidates
White % of all candidates
All Organs
131,347
610
0.5%
55,224
42.0%
Kidney
107,473
570
0.5%
39,377
36.6%
Liver
15,021
21
0.1%
10,196
67.9%
Heart
4,145
11
0.3%
2,553
61.9%
Lung
1,446
2
0.1%
1,129
78.1%

Source:  HRSA U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of July 12, 2016.
https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/*

 

Transplants Performed in the U.S. by Recipient Ethnicity, 2015

 
Number
% of total 2012 transplants
Pacific Islander
120
0.4%
White
17,179
55.5%
Total Transplants
30,969
100%

Source:  HRSA U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of July 12, 2016.
https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/

 

U.S. Organ Donors Recovered, 2015

Donor Type
# of all donors
# of PI donors
PI % of all donors
# of White donors
White % of all donors
Living
5,989
11
0.2%
4,197
70.1%
Deceased
9,079
18
0.2%
5,966
65.7%
Total
15,068
29
0.2%
10,163
67.4%

Source:  HRSA U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of July 12, 2016.
https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/

* OPTN data is updated monthly. The OMHRC data & statistics for this section will be updated biannually. For the most recent OPTN data, click here

Last Modified: 9/7/2016 10:14:00 AM