70% of the nearly 600 people waiting for a kidney transplant in South Carolina are African-American, the second highest percentage in the country
Blacks make up about 30 percent of the population here. In Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of black residents, 91 percent of people waiting for a kidney transplant are black.
"Yes, it's a huge disparity," said Mary Higginbotham, spokeswoman for the National Kidney Foundation of South Carolina. "There are several different things that play into that number. One is that kidney disease disproportionately affects African-Americans."
It also is more difficult to find black organ donors, who are better matches for black transplant candidates, she said.
Blacks make up 56 percent of the regional kidney transplant need and 34 percent nationally, according to data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. The U.S. population is about 12 percent black.
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