Financial struggles and difficulty finding donors—as well as an unclear “transplant gap”—make African Americans less likely to get kidney transplants than whites, the Chicago Tribune reports. Many remain on dialysis, making daily life harder and increasing the risk of death. “You can explain most of the discrepancy, but you still have a gap that you can't explain,” says a doctor.
While 37% of dialysis recipients are black, only 19% of the transplant population is, a government database shows. Transplants call for matching up donors and recipients, but fewer black donors means fewer matches for black recipients. Studies also suggest more education is needed on the transplant option. And some research shows that doctors are less likely to refer black patients for transplants.