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J R Soc Med. 1999 December; 92(12): 626–627.
PMCID: PMC1297467

Attitudes to organ donation among South Asians in an English high street.


In the UK, people of South Asian origin are at more than twice the risk of end-stage renal failure encountered in the Caucasian population but are under-represented among organ donors. Difficulties with matching mean that few donated kidneys are suitable for transplantation to South Asian recipients. A survey of attitudes in 100 South Asian adults was conducted in the main street of Southall, Middlesex. 90 of those questioned were aware of organ transplantation and 69 had heard about donor cards. However, the 16% who carried a donor card was lower than the 28% reported in the general population. The main reason for the low organ donation rate by South Asians seemed to be lack of knowledge, and this could be remedied by more targeting of information in the Asian media.

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Selected References

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  • Exley C, Sim J, Reid NG, Booth L, Jackson S, West N. The admission of Asian patients to intensive therapy units and its implications for kidney donation: a preliminary report from Coventry, UK. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1996 Aug;50(4):447–450. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mather HM, Keen H. The Southall Diabetes Survey: prevalence of known diabetes in Asians and Europeans. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Oct 19;291(6502):1081–1084. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Raleigh VS. Diabetes and hypertension in Britain's ethnic minorities: implications for the future of renal services. BMJ. 1997 Jan 18;314(7075):209–213. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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