Migrant and ethnic minority groups across Europe have a rising demand for organ transplantation, particularly renal transplants.
Migrant and ethnic minority groups have a significant and growing need for transplants (1). The high burden of disease is associated with risk factors such as diabetes and low socioeconomic status. Nevertheless, the proportion of organ donors is low (1). Blood and tissue types differ between ethnic groups but are more often shared by close family members and people of the same ethnicity.
Ideally, donors should be as diverse as the recipient population. In the United Kingdom, non-white ethnic minorities – mainly of Indian, Pakistani and Caribbean descent - comprise 11 % of the population, 7 % of organ donors, 35 % of people awaiting a kidney transplant and 21 % of people who died on the waiting list (2).
Norway has an increasingly diverse population. Many non-white migrant and ethnic minority groups, largely of Somali, Pakistani, Syrian, Iraqi and Eritrean descent, share many of the same risk factors for end stage renal disease, though currently protected by a younger age demographic.
Little is known about ethnicity and organ donation in Norway because ethnicity data is not routinely collected, and where this is done only country of birth is recorded (3).
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Harald Siem, Arild Aambø, Thor Indseth, Käthe Meyer and Elin Hoffmann Dahl for their useful contributions.