Community Services

Minorities and Donation

End-stage renal disease (ESRD), a very serious and life-threatening kidney disease is far more common among certain ethnic groups. Hispanics and Asian-Americans are three times more likely to develop this condition. African Americans are twice as likely to suffer from this illness than Caucasians.

Certain diseases of the heart, lung, pancreas and liver are also more common in minority communities. These include hypertension among African Americans and diabetes among Hispanics. These diseases damage organs, often leading to the need for transplantation; the only way for a person to survive. African Americans alone make up 35% of the more than 83,000 patients on the national kidney transplant waiting list. A shortage of African American donors makes it difficult to find a well-matched kidney for minority patients.

Transplantation works better between people with the same ethnicity/race since genetic similarities are usually much stronger within persons of the same group. Although it is possible to have a successful transplant between a donor and a recipient of a different ethnicity/race, when members of a specific minority community fail to donate, it results in longer waiting periods and fewer transplants for those of within their group.