Donate Life ECHO – Every Community Has Opportunity will take place July 2016 in an effort to support organ and tissue donation in all communities in the US.
Minorities represent 58 percent of the more than 119,000 patients currently awaiting transplants, yet they represent only about 34 percent of those donating organs.
The risk of end-stage kidney disease for some minorities (African American, Hispanics, and Native American) is three to four times higher than for the Caucasian population. African Americans and other minorities are hard hit by hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disorders… diseases which lead to organ failure. In fact, of the over 99,000 people nationwide waiting for kidneys, 34% are African American, 19% are Hispanic, and 7% are Asian. (UNOS data September 2016)
Also, African-Americans and Hispanics between the ages of 45 and 65 are 2 times as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than Caucasians in this age group.
Because the minority population continues to grow (they now make up approximately 20% of the US population), the need for minority donation and transplantation can be anticipated to grow as well.
While the number of minorities waiting for a transplant continues to grow, minority organ donations lag behind those of the Caucasian population. A breakdown by ethnicity in 2015, shows that deceased donations are overwhelmingly from the Caucasian population (66%). The African American population accounts for 16%; Hispanic, 13%; and Asian, 2%.
It’s critical to increase the availability of minority donors in order to save lives within those communities. Fact is the best matches between donors and recipients often lie between members of the same race. Currently, the lack of minority organ donors decreases the number of well-matched kidneys and pancreases available for minority recipients.