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Donating blood has significant health benefits

blood donation heart disease myocardial infarction cholesterol insulin sensitivity

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#1 Fafner55

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:15 PM

Studies have shown dramatic decreases in heart attacks and other causes of mortality from donating blood.

My doctor recommends donating blood 4 times per year.



Blood donation is associated with 40 to 88% reduction in acute myocardial infarction.

A study of nearly 3,000 middle-aged men found that men who donated blood had 88% less risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) compared to men who didn’t donate.

“Donation of Blood Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction” (1998) https://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/148/5/445.full.pdf


Occasionally donating blood (every three years) is associated with a 50% drop in cardiovascular disease in men.

“Possible association of a reduction in cardiovascular events with blood donation” (1997) http://heart.bmj.com/content/78/2/188.short


This study finds a 40% reduction in cardiovascular risk, after adjusting for other differences between donor and non-donor groups.

“A historical cohort study of the effect of lowering body iron through blood donation on incident cardiac events” (2002) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12430669


With women, after menopause their risk of heart disease begins to approach that of men.  A study following more than 23,000 Dutch women for a decade found that those who said they'd typically had irregular periods in the past were 28 percent more likely than women who reported regular monthly periods to develop heart disease.   

“Irregular menstrual periods tied to heart disease” (2010) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-irregular-menstrual-periods-tied-hear-idUSTRE64K5MS20100521


Blood donation improves lipid profile and insulin sensitivity

Regular blood donation may be protective against cardiovascular disease as reflected by significantly lower mean total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels in regular blood donors than in non-donors. Mean total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein were significantly lower in the regular blood donors than the control group.

  1. “Lipid profile of regular blood donors” (2013) http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3663474/
  2. “Effects of phlebotomy-induced reduction of body iron stores on metabolic syndrome: results from a randomized clinical trial” (2012) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3386865/


Blood donation lowers all-cause mortality

Among a large cohort of US blood donors, this study found a 30% lower rate for all-cause mortality.

"Cancer Incidence and Mortality in a Cohort of US Blood Donors: A 20-Year Study” (2013) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jce/2013/814842/


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