Research Article

Patterns of Asian and non-Asian morbidity in hospitals.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 19 March 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:949
  1. L J Donaldson,
  2. J B Taylor


    On the basis of surname, 6418 Asians were identified out of a total of 109 187 deaths and discharges of Leicestershire residents who had been treated in hospitals in the Trent Regional Health Authority over two years. After linkage to Hospital Activity Analysis computerised records, hospital morbidity in Asians and non-Asians was compared. Asian patients in certain age groups were more likely than non-Asian patients to be diagnosed as having asthma; leukaemia; diabetes mellitus; blood, thyroid, and eye disorders; certain forms of heart disease; and spontaneous and other types of abortion (excluding therapeutic abortion). The well recognised excess of cases of tuberculosis among Asians was also confirmed. Conversely, for some age groups, Asians were less likely than non-Asians to fall into particular diagnostic categories. Exploring such apparent differences can serve as the basis for aetiological inquiry and service planning. The patient's name is now probably the most reliable indicator of Asian ethnic origin in health records.