Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Ethnic differences in general practitioner consultations.

British Medical Journal 1989; 299 doi: (Published 14 October 1989) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1989;299:958
  1. R. Balarajan,
  2. P. Yuen,
  3. V. Soni Raleigh
  1. Epidemiology and Public Health Research Unit, University of Surrey, Guildford.


    OBJECTIVE--To examine the levels of general practitioner consultations among the different ethnic groups resident in Britain. DESIGN--The study was based on the British general household surveys of 1983-5 and included 63,966 people aged 0-64. Odds ratios were derived for consultation by ethnic group by using logistic regression analysis adjusting for age and socioeconomic group. SETTING--The results relate to people living in private households in England, Scotland, and Wales. RESULTS--After adjustment for age and socioeconomic class, consultation among adults aged 16-64 was highest among people of Pakistani origin with odds ratios of 2.82 (95% confidence interval 1.86 to 4.28) for men and 1.85 (1.22 to 2.81) for women. Significantly higher consultations were also seen for men of West Indian and Indian origin (odds ratios 1.65 and 1.53 respectively). Ethnic differences were greatest at ages 45-64, when consultation rates in people of Pakistani, Indian, and West Indian origin were much higher in both sexes compared with white people. CONCLUSIONS--The ethnic composition of inner cities is likely to influence the workload and case mix of general practitioners working in these areas.