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U.S. Government Information on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation
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External Web Site Policy Go to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Website Give the Gift of Life

Organ Donation and People Over Age 50

Janet Ocasio image.

Janet Ocasio
Danbury, CT

“The need for transplantation can affect anyone, young or old, male and female, in any ethnic or cultural group.”

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Carlton Blackburn image.

Carlton Blackburn
Keene, TX

Carlton’s liver donation at age 92 showed that age is no barrier to sharing life.

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May Chen image.

May Chen
Harlingen, TX

World champion martial arts competitor May Chen continues her winning ways with an allograft transplant.

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Bobby Height, Sr. image.

Bobby Height, Sr.
Charlotte, NC

“Someone said ‘yes’ to donating life so that I might have a second chance.”

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People over the age of 50 equal more than 64% of those on the waiting list for an organ transplant.

They are also the largest group of donors. Unfortunately, while more than 99 million people in the United States are over 50, about 21 million of them believe they are too old to register as a donor. People of all ages, however, can be organ, eye, and tissue donors.

More about People Age
50+: Donation and
Learn the facts about donation

Am I too old to be a donor? What if I’ve been sick? Does my religion allow donation?
> Find answers to these and more questions

Health Issues that Affect People Over 50

Learn how External Web Site Policy to take better care of your health and help prevent diseases and behaviors that lead to a need for transplantation.

In 2011, people 50+ were:
  • 64%of national transplant waiting list
  • 60%of all transplants
  • 57%of all kidney transplants
  • 71%of all people receiving liver transplants
Waiting List Candidates by Age*

*Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).
Data as of April 13, 2012.

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