African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities comprise more than half of those patients awaiting lifesaving organ transplants in the United States. That's because there is a greater prevalence of some illnesses, including kidney disease, within these communities.
For instance, African Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease.
Although donors and recipients do not have to share the same ethnicity, transplant success increases when organs are matched between donors and recipients of the same ethnic background.
Unfortunately, the lack of organs donated from multicultural populations can contribute to longer waiting periods for patients in need of transplants. Many patients do not receive transplants in time.
Education is key to understanding donation and donor designation.
Based on OPTN data as of October 6, 2007
Source: Donate Life America