African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are far more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes than other groups and are especially in need of kidney transplants. Across the United States, minorities comprise more than half of the national waiting list for an organ transplant. The statistics are startling:
- Account for 35% of the people in need of kidney transplants. In North Carolina, the figure is over 60%.
- Comprise about 16 % of the organ donors in the U.S and 33% in North Carolina.
- Receive 21% of the organ transplants each year in the U.S. and 34% in North Carolina.
- Experience kidney failure more often than any other race.
- Account for 17% of the people on the national organ transplant waiting list and 13% of those in North Carolina.
- Comprise about 13% of the organ donors in the U.S. and 4% in North Carolina.
- Receive 14% of the organs transplanted on an annual basis and 4% in North Carolina.
- Are the fastest growing segment of the population.
Donated organs are routinely transplanted across racial and ethnic groups. When minorities register to donate, it increases the likelihood that matches can be found for minority patients. Meanwhile, prevention is key. Everyone at risk for diseases that lead to organ failure is encouraged to take the following actions:
- Take medications as prescribed
- Have your blood pressure checked regularly
- Get regular screenings as directed by a physician
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Limit fast food, fried foods and those with saturated fats
- Register to donate, nationwide at www.donatelife.net
LifeShare has materials tailored to the African-American and Hispanic communities. If you’d like to obtain materials, please contact us.