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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Organ Donation and Hispanic Americans

Hispanic Americans have high rates of diabetes and heart disease. Mexican Americans, in particular, suffer disproportionately from obesity, which contributes to diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. These conditions are known to put patients at risk for organ failures. Language barriers also negatively affect patient access to health care as well as adequate health information. In 2018, Hispanics made up 18.3 percent of the national population.

  • The number of organ transplants performed on Hispanics in 2019 was about 29 percent of the number of Hispanics currently waiting for a transplant. The number of transplants performed on white Americans was 47.6 percent of the number currently waiting.
  • While 20.4 percent of the total candidates currently waiting for transplants are Hispanic, they comprised 14.6 percent of organ donors in 2019.
  • Over 60 percent of organs recovered from Hispanic patients in 2019 were from deceased donors.
  • Both Hispanic men and women have a chronic liver disease rate that is twice that of the white population, and they are almost twice as likely to die from chronic liver disease as compared to the white population.

 

U.S. Transplant Waiting List – Candidates by Race/Ethnicity
Organ All Candidates # of Hispanic Candidates Hispanic % of All Candidates # of White Candidates White % of All Candidates
All Organs 112,258 22,900 20.4 45,441 40.5
Kidney 94,458 20,113 21.3 33,680 35.7
Liver 12,647 2,340 18.5 8,497 67.2
Heart 3,686 374 10.1 2,140 58.1
Lung 1,309 159 12.1 918 70.1

Source: HRSA. U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of February 20, 2020.
https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/*

 

Transplants Performed in the U.S. by Recipient Ethnicity, 2019
  Number Percentage of Total 2019 Transplants
Hispanic 6,709 16.9
White 21,248 54.5
Total Transplants 39,718 100

Source: HRSA. U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of February 20, 2020.
https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/

 

U.S. Organ Donors Recovered, 2019
Donor Type # of All Donors # of Hispanic Donors Hispanic % of All Donors # of White Donors White % of All Donors
Living 7,381 1,047 14.9 5,269 71.4
Deceased 11,870 1,770 14.2 7,784 65.6
Total 19,251 2,817 14.6 13,053 67.8

Source: HRSA. U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of February 20, 2020.
https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/

 

U.S. Organ Donors Recovered, 2019
Donor Type # of Hispanic Donors % of Hispanic Donors # of White Donors % of White Donors
Living 1,047 37.2 5,269 40.4
Deceased 1,770 62.8 7,784 59.6
Total 2,817 100 13,053 100

Source: HRSA. U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Based on OPTN data as of February 20, 2020.
https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/

 

* OPTN data is updated monthly online. The data and statistics for this section will be updated annually.

Last Modified: 3/4/2020 8:55:00 AM