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Pre-emptive kidney transplants are becoming an important treatment option. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press)

More than 4,500 Canadians were waiting for an organ transplant at the end of 2011 as demand for organs like kidneys has slowly increased, according to a new report.

Of the 265 patients who died waiting for an organ that year, 80 needed kidneys, the Canadian Institute for Health Information said Thursday in the report titled Treatment of End-Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 2002 to 2011.

The rising need for kidneys comes as the number of people living with end-stage renal disease (ERSD) in Canada has tripled since 1992, the report's authors said. By the end of 2011, an estimated 40,385 people were living with the kidney failure condition that requires dialysis or transplant.

Pre-emptive kidney transplants — ones performed immediately when end-stage renal failure is diagnosed with no time on dialysis — are "becoming an increasingly important treatment option in Canada," the institute noted.

An accompanying report by the institute showed disparities in rates and treatments for aboriginal patients with kidney failure.

Aboriginal patients with ESRD are less likely to receive kidney transplantation than their non-aboriginal counterparts (27 per cent versus 42 per cent.) For aboriginal people who do get a new kidney, survival rates were similar to others in Canada at 84 per cent at five years.

Aboriginal ESRD patients were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as their non-aboriginal counterparts (49 per cent versus 27 per cent) and were more likely to be obese (40 per cent  versus 27 per cent).

The organ failure report also showed 2,213 transplants of organs were performed in Canada in 2011.

In 2011, 311 Canadians were waiting to receive a lung transplant compared with 150 in 2002.