No association between iron status and self-reported health-related quality of life in 16,375 Danish blood donors: results from the Danish Blood Donor Study

Transfusion. 2015 Jul;55(7):1752-6. doi: 10.1111/trf.13085. Epub 2015 Apr 6.


Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQL) represents people's subjective assessment of their mental and physical well-being. HRQL is highly predictive of future health. The effect of iron deficiency without anemia induced by blood donation on HRQL is presently unknown. The aim was to explore the relationship between iron status and self-reported mental component score (MCS; SF-12) and physical component score (PCS; SF-12) in Danish blood donors.

Study design and methods: Complete relevant data, including the 12-item short-form health survey (SF-12), plasma ferritin levels, age, body mass index, smoking status, C-reactive protein levels, number of donations in the previous 3 years, and PCS and MCS, were available for 8692 men and 7683 women enrolled from March 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010. Multivariable linear and logistic (cutoff at the 10th percentile) regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between iron deficiency (ferritin < 15 ng/mL) and MCS and PCS, respectively. Analyses were performed separately for men and women.

Results: There was no significant relationship between iron deficiency and self-reported mental or physical health.

Conclusion: This study found no association between iron stores and self-reported HRQL among Danish blood donors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Donors*
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood*
  • Iron Deficiencies
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Report*


  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Ferritins
  • Iron