(HealthDay News) — In the United States, organ donor rates are highest in the Midwest and lowest in New York state, according to a report published online in the American Journal of Transplantation.
The researchers looked at 52,571 people who died between 2008 and 2013, and who were considered eligible for organ donation.
Consent for donation was obtained in 73% of those cases, with consent rates highest in cases where patients were younger than 55, white, and when the referral from the local hospital was made in a timely manner, according to the researchers. Overall, consent rates were lower among blacks, Hispanics, and Asians than among whites. However, consent rates along racial/ethnic lines varied considerably in different regions of the United States.
“These data demonstrate that although the underlying demographics of the donor population may contribute to geographic differences in organ consent rates, it clearly is not the major driving factor,” lead author David Goldberg, M.D., an assistant professor in the gastroenterology division at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. “Although there may be underlying cultural or religious differences leading to variable consent rates, the dramatic differences in consent rates among younger Caucasians clearly show that race alone cannot explain geographic differences in organ donor consent rates.”