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Registration for deceased organ and tissue donation among Ontario immigrants: a population-based cross-sectional study

Li AH, Lam NN, Dhanani S, Weir M, Prakash V, Kim J, Knoll G, Garg AX. CMAJ Open. 2016; 4(4):E551-61.


Background — Canada has low rates of deceased organ and tissue donation. Immigrants to Canada may differ in their registered support for deceased organ donation based on their country of origin.

Methods — We used linked administrative databases in Ontario (about 11 million residents aged ≥ 16 yr) to study the proportion of immigrants and long-term residents registered for deceased organ and tissue donation as of October 2013. We used modified Poisson regression to identify and quantify predictors of donor registration.

Results — Compared with long-term residents (n = 9 244 570), immigrants (n = 1 947 646) were much less likely to register for deceased organ and tissue donation (11.9% v. 26.5%). Immigrants from the United States, Australia and New Zealand had the highest registration rate (40.0%), whereas immigrants with the lowest registration rates were from Eastern Europe and Central Asia (9.4%), East Asia and Pacific (8.4%) and sub-Saharan Africa (7.9%). The largest numbers of unregistered immigrants were from India (n = 202 548), China (n = 186 678) and the Philippines (n = 125 686). Characteristics among the immigrant population associated with a higher likelihood of registration included economic immigrant status, living in a rural area (population < 10 000), living in an area with a lower ethnic concentration, less material deprivation, a higher education, ability to speak English and French, and more years residing in Canada.

Interpretation — Immigrants in Ontario were less likely to register for deceased organ and tissue donation than long-term residents. There is a need to better understand reasons for lower registration rates among Canadian immigrants and to create culture-sensitive materials to build support for deceased organ and tissue donation.

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Keywords: Ethnicity and culture Organ donation

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