Cardiovascular and demographic characteristics in whole blood and plasma donors: results from the Donor InSight study


Atsma, Femke and Veldhuizen, Ingrid and Vegt, Femmie de and Doggen, Carine and Kort, Wim de (2011) Cardiovascular and demographic characteristics in whole blood and plasma donors: results from the Donor InSight study. Transfusion, 51 (2). pp. 412-420. ISSN 0041-1132

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Abstract:BACKGROUND: Within blood establishments little comparative information is available about donors versus the general population. In this study, a description of the donor pool was made in terms of demographic factors and cardiovascular risk factors. The general Dutch population was used as a reference group.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The Donor InSight study provided information on donors. Extensive information has been gathered by a self-administered questionnaire addressing various topics, like demographics, lifestyle, and health. Aggregated donor responses were compared with general population summary data.

RESULTS: The study population consisted of 15,076 donors. The median age was 46.3 years and 47.3% were men. Donors were more likely to be highly educated (34.6%), married (71.7%), and of Dutch origin (97.4%), when compared to the general population. Donors were less often smokers (donors, 17.1%; general population, 31.8%), more often moderate drinkers (donors, 82.8%; general population, 74.7%), and physically more active (donors, 2.0 hr/week; general population, 1.0 hr/week). Male donors were more often moderately overweight (47.7%) than men from the general population (39.9%). In donors, 0.9% reported to have Type 2 diabetes versus 1.9% in the general population. In donors, 3.4% reported high cholesterol versus 4.6% in the general population.

CONCLUSION: The study provided important knowledge about demographic distributions and cardiovascular risk factors within donors. A proper understanding of demographic characteristics of donors will help us to focus recruitment and retention strategies. The reported beneficial cardiovascular profile suggests a need for further research on the role of blood donation in cardiovascular risk reduction.

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Copyright:© 2010 American Association of Blood Banks
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