Some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver are found more frequently in racial and ethnic minority populations than in the general population. For example, African-Americans and other minorities are three times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease than Caucasians. Some of these diseases are best treated through transplantation.
Transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic and racial group. For example, a patient is less likely to reject a kidney if it is donated by an individual who is genetically similar. Generally, people are genetically more similar to people of their own ethnicity or race than to people of other races. Consequently, a lack of organs donated by minorities can contribute to longer waiting periods for transplantation.