A questionnaire was sent to 164 principal general practitioners working in Cardiff. A response rate of 81% was achieved. A total of 70% of respondents had had professional contact with a carrier for thalassaemia and a similar number for sickle cell disease, while 57% had recommended that a patient should be screened for haemoglobinopathy status. GPs tended to underestimate greatly the prevalence of haemoglobinopathies in South Glamorgan, and were uncertain of the ethnic minorities that were at particular risk. A carrier screening programme was considered justified by the majority of GPs in Cardiff and reasons for this opinion were examined. However, before a screening programme is started, information on whom to screen and their relative risk needs to be made more widely available.
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