Life events and donor lapse among blood donors in Denmark

Vox Sang. 2019 Nov;114(8):795-807. doi: 10.1111/vox.12842. Epub 2019 Oct 1.


Background and objectives: The likelihood of donating blood changes over the life course, with life events shown to influence entry to and exit from the donor population. While these previous findings provide valuable insights for donor management, blood collection agencies need to be cautious about generalizing findings to other countries as blood donor behaviour is context-specific. To examine cross-country variations in donor behaviour, the repeatability of a previous Dutch study on life events and blood donor lapse is examined by using a sample of Danish donors.

Materials and methods: Register data from Statistics Denmark was linked to the Scandinavian Donations and Transfusions database (n = 152 887). Logistic regressions were conducted to examine the association between life events in 2009-2012 and blood donor lapse in 2013-2014.

Results: Of the total sample, 69 079 (45·2%) donors lapsed. Childbirth and losing a job increased the lapsing risk by 11% and 16%, respectively, while health-related events in the family (i.e. blood transfusion, disease and death) decreased the lapsing risk by 5%, 7% and 9%, respectively.

Conclusion: Life events are associated with donor lapse of Danish donors. These results are comparable to previous findings from the Netherlands (i.e. childbirth and labour market transitions increased lapsing risk; health-related events decreased lapsing risk), with two thirds of the associations being in the same direction. Differences between study results were mainly related to effect sizes and demographic compositions of the donor pools. We argue contextual factors to be of importance in blood donor studies.

Keywords: blood donors; donor lapse; life events; register data; replication.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged