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Organ Donation Data/Statistics

While there are many reasons for needing an organ transplant, certain untreated or uncontrolled diseases will often lead to organ failure. This can happen with diabetes, which affects the kidneys, liver disease, and even severe hypertension (high blood pressure), which affects both the heart and kidneys. Some organs are procured after a person has died and the individual or family gives consent for donation. Other organs such as kidneys and parts of the liver or pancreas can be donated from a living person, often a family member. Kidney transplants are one of the most common transplant operations performed. 1

Minorities make up more than half of organ donation waiting lists (56%), yet they comprise less than half of organ transplants performed (34%). White patients make up less than half of waiting lists (44%), and comprise 66% of transplants performed. This disparity may be explained by the fact that minorities have higher rates of potentially organ-destroying diseases than non-Hispanic whites, but minorities also may have less access to quality health services. Language and cultural barriers may factor into a patient’s understanding of health information and treatment. Another contributing factor to these numbers, however, is a lower rate of consent to organ donations among minority populations.

Quick Facts 2

  • Over 115,000 men, women, and children in the United States need life-saving organ transplants, and a new name is added to the national waiting list every approximately every 10 minutes.
  • Each day, approximately 18 people die while waiting for an organ transplant.
  • 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know what steps to take to be a donor.
  • Although donor designations have increased, only 42% of licensed drivers and ID card holders have registered to be donors through their state registry or motor vehicle department.

Reports on Organ Donation

Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Annual Reports


Statistics on African Americans and Organ Donation.

Statistics on American Indians/Alaska Natives and Organ Donation.

Statistics on Asian Americans and Organ Donatione.

Statistics on Hispanic Americans and Organ Donation.

Statistics on Pacific Islanders and Organ Donation.

1Department of Health and Human Services, HRSA.

2Donate Life America. http://www.donatelife.netExit Disclaimer

Last Modified: 02/12/2013 11:49:00 AM
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