The integration of high-throughput testing of blood donors for cardiovascular disease risk assessment and prevention

Transfus Apher Sci. 2013 Oct;49(2):263-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2013.06.018. Epub 2013 Jul 19.


Background and objectives: Some blood centers provide health screening as a public health measure and to encourage donation. The goal of the current study was to provide cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening to donors using high-throughput testing and web-based communications.

Materials and methods: CVD risk screening was offered to donors at selected mobile drives in a large metropolitan area. Risk factors were determined by donor questionnaire, laboratory testing (total cholesterol, HDL levels and hemoglobin A1c), and blood pressure measurement. Results were reported to participants via mail and website. A 60-day follow up web-based survey was sent to participants via email to assess the impact of the program on donor's behavior.

Results: 9435 donors, 17-75 years old participated with the following risk factors: 61.3% BMIs>25, 28.8% high total cholesterol, and 31.4% lower than recommended HDL levels. 25.3% of donors that responded to the follow up survey went to see their health care provider based on screening results and 9% of these received new or modified treatment.

Conclusion: In our sample, blood donors are healthier than the general population, but many still have CVD risk factors, particularly obesity. CVD screening can be successfully used to make donors aware of this important health information and some donors act on this information.

Keywords: Blood center; Cardiovascular disease risk; Public health.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Donors*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Donor Selection*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Cholesterol