NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Increase In Organ Donors

April 19, 1999

In the first substantial increase in three years, the number of organ donors rose 5.6 percent last year, according to statistics collected by the United Network for Organ Sharing and released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • The increase to 5,479 donors resulted in about 600 more transplants in 1998 over 1997.
  • At the end of 1998, there were 64,423 people awaiting transplants -- a number which has been growing much faster than the number of donations.
  • About 4,000 people on waiting lists die each year.
  • The increase was most dramatic among people 60 or older -- jumping 10 percent to 782 donors.

The increase was largest in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, at 13 percent.

The increase in donations was 6.6 percent among whites, and 7.8 percent among Hispanic-Americans. Rates did not increase among blacks, and fell 8.4 percent among Asian-Americans.

Source: Associated Press, "Organ Donors Increased Substantially During 1998," New York Times, April 18, 1999.


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