Minorities and Donation

More than half of the people on the national waiting list for organs are minorities. By contrast, only about 30% of donors are minorities.

The need for organ and tissue transplants and the shortage of donors affects people of all races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds. However, certain minority groups are more widely affected by the diseases that can cause the need for an organ transplant. Because these diseases are more common among minorities, they are more likely to need dialysis treatments - or kidney transplants. In fact, more than half of the people on the national waiting list for organs are minorities. By contrast, only about 30% of donors are minorities.

Did you know?

  • African-Americans make up 22 percent of North Carolina's overall population, but represent half of North Carolinians waiting for an organ transplant.
  • Of the more than 1,400 African-Americans waiting for transplants in North Carolina, 95 percent are waiting for a kidney transplant.
  • 44 percent of African-American waiting for a transplant are between the ages of 50 and 64, and 29 percent are between the ages of 35 and 49.
  • African-Americans are four times more likely than Caucasians to be on dialysis because of kidney failure, which must often be treated by kidney transplantation.
  • 19 percent of all patients awaiting organ transplants in the United States are of Latino heritage.
  • The majority of Latino patients are waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Diabetes, a leading cause of kidney failure in the United States, is estimated to be four to six times more common in Latinos/Hispanic-Americans.
North Carolina State Transplant Waiting List
  All Organs Kidney Liver Pancreas Kidney/Pancreas Heart Lung Heart/Lung Intestine
All Ethnicities 2,870 2,503 210 27 45 125 15 1 6
White 1,211 958 163 22 26 67 11 1 3
Black 1,406 1,331 23 4 17 46 3 0 1
Hispanic 103 87 8 0 0 7 0 0 1
Asian 68 59 5 0 0 2 1 0 0
American Indian/ Alaska Native 33 31 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
Pacific Islander 5 5 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Multiracial 52 39 10 0 1 2 0 0 0
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of December 2, 2016. For updated information, go to www.optn.org.
National Transplant Waiting List
  All Organs Kidney Liver Pancreas Kidney/ Pancreas Heart Lung Heart/ Lung Intestine
All Ethnicities 119,468 99,175 14,518 954 1,789 4,033 1,409 43 274
White 50,019 36,248 9,861 685 980 2,477 1,100 25 147
Black 35,389 32,989 1,137 121 475 1,023 152 9 59
Hispanic 22,858 19,858 2,532 110 263 387 105 7 50
Asian 9,049 8,169 775 20 40 102 40 1 9
American Indian/ Alaska Native 1,167 1,019 134 8 16 8 6 1 3
Pacific Islander 599 558 28 3 4 12 2 0 1
Multiracial 844 739 65 7 14 26 5 0 5
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of December 2, 2016. For updated information, go to www.optn.org.