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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2008 Jan;2(1):9-12. doi: 10.4103/0973-6247.39504.

Iron status of regular voluntary blood donors.

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Surat Raktadan Kendra and Research Centre, Gopipura, Surat - 395 001, Gujarat, India.



Our blood bank is a regional blood transfusion centre, which accepts blood only from voluntary donors.


The aim is to study iron status of regular voluntary donors who donated their blood at least twice in a year.


Prior to blood donation, blood samples of 220 male and 30 female voluntary donors were collected. Control included 100 each male and female healthy individuals in the 18- to 60-year age group, who never donated blood and did not have any chronic infection. In the study and control groups, about 10% subjects consumed non-vegetarian diet. After investigation, 85 males and 56 females having haemoglobin (Hb) levels above 12.5 g/dl were selected as controls. Donors were divided into </=10, 11-20, 21-50 and >50 blood donation categories. Majority of the donors in >50 donation category donated blood four times in a year, whereas the remaining donors donated two to three times per year. Haematological parameters were measured on fully automatic haematology analyzer, serum iron and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) by biochemical methods, ferritin using ELISA kits and transferrin using immunoturbidometry kits. Iron/TIBC ratio x 100 gave percentage of transferrin saturation value.


Statistical evaluation was done by mean, standard deviation, pair t-test, chi(2) and anova (F-test).


Preliminary analysis revealed that there was no significant difference in the iron profile of vegetarian and non-vegetarian subjects or controls and the donors donating <20 times. Significant increase or decrease was observed in mean values of various haematological and iron parameters in donors who donated blood for >20 times (P < 0.001), compared to controls. Anaemia, iron deficiency and depletion of iron stores were more prevalent in female donors (P < 0.05) compared to males and especially in those male donors who donated their blood for more than 20 times.


Regular voluntary blood donors should receive iron supplementation to prevent iron deficiency and depletion in iron stores.


Depletion of iron stores; iron deficiency; regular voluntary donors

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