[break]Organ transplantation is limited by a lack of available organs, and that lack is more pronounced within minority populations. [break][break]African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Hispanics groups are more likely than Caucasians to have certain chronic conditions that affect the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver. Certain blood types are more prevalent in ethnic minority populations. Because matching blood type is necessary for transplants, the need for minority donor organs is especially critical. [break][break]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. [break][break]It is estimated that there are 64,000 multicultural patients on the national waiting list. [break][break]Prevalence in African Americans:[break][break] – Approximately 2.3 million African Americans have diabetes, a third do not know it.[break] – African Americans are 1.7 times more like to have diabetes, than Non-Latino Whites.[break] – 1 in 4 African American women over 55 years of age have diabetes.[break] – 25% of African Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes. [break][break]Prevalence in Hispanics/Latinos:[break][break] – 1.2 million of all Mexican Americans have diabetes.[break] – Type 2 diabetes is twice as high in Latinos as in Non-Latino Whites.[break] – Nearly 16% of Cuban Americans in the U.S. between the ages of 45-74 have diabetes.[break] – Approximately 24% of Mexican Americans in U.S. and 26% of Puerto Ricans between the ages of 45-75 have diabetes.[break] [break][break]Prevalence in Native Americans:[break][break] – Native Americans have the highest rates of diabetes in the world.[break] – Type 2 diabetes among Native Americans is 12.2% for those over 19 years of age.[break] – Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions among Native Americans. Complications from diabetes are major causes of death and health problems in most Native American populations.[break] [break]National Minority Donor Awareness Day is August 1 [break] [break]Register Today – It’s Easy! [break][break]Becoming an organ donor can make a big difference…and not just to one person. By becoming an organ, eye and tissue donor, you can save or improve as many as 50 lives. Many donor families say that knowing their loved one helped save other lives helped them cope with their loss. It is important to register with the official state donor registry, the Donate Life Texas Registry. You can indicate that you want to be a donor in the following ways: [break][break] – Designate your decision on your driver’s license or identification card at the DPS or when you renew your car tags through the DMV.[break] – Register on-line [break][break] It’s also important to tell your family that you want to be a donor. Authorization from next of kin is necessary before removing organs, although this is not required if you’re a registered donor. Understanding organ donation can make you feel better about your choice. If you’ve delayed your decision to be a registered donor — learn the facts.