Geographical variations in the correlates of blood donor turnout rates: An investigation of Canadian metropolitan areas
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BACKGROUND: Like other countries, Canada's population is aging, and the implications of this demographic change need to be better understood from the perspective of blood supply. Analysis of donor data will help to identify systematic patterns of donation and its correlates. DATA: Geo-coded blood donor and donor clinic data are provided by Canadian Blood Services. Blood donor data is provided for the fiscal year 2006-2007 indicating the total number of donors for each Canadian postal code, excluding the province of Québec. Potential correlates of blood donation are selected based on social and economic characteristics, as well as descriptors of city size and geographical location in the urban hierarchy measures of accessibility, and capacity of donor clinics. METHODS: Data is aggregated to n = 3,746 census tracts in 40 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) across the country. The number of donors per population in a census tract is regressed against the set of potential donation correlates. Autocorrelation is tested for and results adjusted to provide parsimonious models. RESULTS: A number of factors are found to influence donation across the country, including the proportion of younger residents, English ability, proportion of people with immigrant status, higher education, and a population-based measure of accessibility. CONCLUSION: While a number of correlates of blood donation are observed across Canada, important contextual effects across metropolitan areas are highlighted. The paper concludes by looking at policy options that are aimed toward further understanding donor behaviour.
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