Frequent blood donations may reduce heart disease risk for women

July 1, 2019

Women who donate blood regularly showed a reduction in risk factors for heart disease, a recent Dutch study showed in preliminary results.

No difference was noted for men. The results were published in the journal Blood.

The heart health benefit becomes another positive factor for making donating a habit.

“Doing something good like giving blood warms your heart emotionally, and now a study shows it may help your heart physically, too,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, Associate Medical Director at BioBridge Global.

Researchers in The Netherlands analyzed records from 159,934 whole blood donors who had been donating for at least 10 years. Data for donations and death from heart disease were acquired from Dutch hospitals and the country’s national personal records database.

The team factored in the need for a long-range look at donations and the potential for heart disease. They also calculated to minimize the “healthy donor effect,” in which donors show a better self-perceived health status than people who do not donate.

“The potential protective effect of blood donation on developing future cardiovascular disease might be used as a preventive lifestyle intervention in healthy individuals,” said lead researcher Karlijn Peffer and colleagues.

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