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Organ Donation and African Americans

African Americans make up the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. In 2011, African Americans made up 14 percent of the national population.

  • The number of organ transplants performed on Black Americans in 2012 was only 14% of the number of Black Americans currently waiting for a transplant. The number of transplants performed on White Americans was 27% of the number currently waiting.
  • While 29% of the total candidates currently waiting for transplants are Black American, they comprised 14% of organ donors in 2012.
  • In 2012, 69 percent of donor organs from African Americans were from deceased donors.
  • Although the total number of White Americans on organ transplant waiting lists is about 1.5 times greater than that of Black Americans, the number of candidates waiting for a kidney transplant is almost the same between Blacks and Whites.
  • Black Americans have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure than White Americans. These conditions are known to put the patient at risk for organ failures.
U.S. Transplant Waiting List – Candidates by Race/Ethnicity

Organ

# of Black candidates

Black % of all candidates

# of White candidates

White % of all candidates

All Organs

34,475

29.5%

51,250

43.9%

Kidney

32,324

34.0%

35,917

37.8%

Liver

1,147

7.3%

10,997

69.7%

Heart

710

21.1%

2,279

67.7%

Lung

166

10.2%

1,325

81.3%

Source:  HRSA U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of January 18, 2013.
http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/latestData/viewDataReports.asp*

 

Transplants Performed in the U.S. by Recipient Ethnicity

 

2012

% of total 2012 transplants

Black

4,683

20.0%

White

13,965

59.8%

Total Transplants

23,362

100%

Source:  HRSA U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of January 18, 2013.
http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/latestData/viewDataReports.asp

 

U.S. Organ Donors Recovered, 2012

Donor Type

# of Black donors

Black % of all donors

# of White donors

White % of all donors

Living

512

10.5%

3,450

70.6%

Deceased

1,133

16.7%

4,480

66.1%

Total

1,645

14.1%

7,930

68.0%

Source:  HRSA U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of January 18, 2013.
http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/latestData/viewDataReports.asp

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



Content Last Modified: 2/12/2013 10:43:00 AM
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