Multicultural Perspectives

More than half of the national transplant waiting list is made up of multicultural populations. That’s because some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver that are best treated through transplantation are found more frequently in these populations. For example, African Americans and other minorities are three times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease than Caucasians.

Although it is possible for a candidate to match a donor from another racial or ethnic group, transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background. Consequently, a lack of organs donated by multicultural populations can contribute to longer waiting periods for transplantation.