Korean J Transplant.  2022 Mar;36(1):54-60. 10.4285/kjt.21.0034.

The influence of socioeconomic factors on deceased organ donation in Iran

  • 1Organ Procurement Unit, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • 2Department of Urology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • 3Department of Urology, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


There is a large gap between the number of patients on organ waiting lists and the number of available organs for donation. This study investigated the socioeconomic factors in Iran that influenced decisions for organ donation among the families of brain-dead donors.
This retrospective cross-sectional study was performed among the families of 333 organ donors in Iran. Two trained researchers interviewed family members about the donor’s age, sex, cause of brain death, education level, marital status, number of children, history of addiction, the financial status of the donor’s family, and reasons for which they considered refusing organ donation.
The mean age of the donors was 37.23±16.59 years. During 2017–2019, significant differences were found according to income (P<0.001), marital status (P<0.001), sex (P=0.04), and occupation (P=0.04). More than half of the organ donors were of low socioeconomic status, and nearly half were the sole income earners of large families. Trauma was the most common cause of death (44.6%). The most common reasons for which the families considered refusing organ donation were unfamiliarity with the concept of brain death, denial, and the expectation of a miracle.
The donor’s socioeconomic status and availability of social services, such as insurance coverage, psychological services, and mourning therapy courses, play an important role in organ donation. Adequate support for the deceased’s family after organ donation is imperative.


Organ donation; Socioeconomic; Brain death; Trauma
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