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Organ donation is an essential aspect of the American healthcare system. Unfortunately, deceased organ donations occur at a lower rate among African Americans than Caucasian Americans. Recently, researchers and healthcare workers have pushed to reduce this disparity. 

This population-based cohort study, published in JAMA Surgery, identified 141,534 deceased donors and 5,268,200 potential donors from 1999 to 2017. Donation ratios among racial/ethnic groups were calculated using the number of actual donors and the number of potential donors. 

Ultimately, it was found that the donation ratio increased more among Black individuals than white individuals. However, Black Americans were still found to face a significant disparity in deceased organ donation, having donated at 69% the rate that white Americans donated organs. 

The researchers concluded that while organ donation among African Americans and other minority populations has increased each year, a disparity still exists between the percentage of African American organ donors and Caucasian organ donors [1].


[1] Kernodle, A. B., Zhang, W., Motter, J. D., Doby, B., Liyanage, L., Garonzik-Wang, J., Jackson, K. R., Boyarsky, B. J., Massie, A. B., Purnell, T. S., & Segev, D. L. (2021). Examination of racial and ethnic differences in deceased organ donation ratio over time in the US. JAMA Surgery, 156(4), e207083. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2020.7083

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