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J Natl Med Assoc. 2011 Apr;103(4):351-7.

Demographic patterns of blood donors and donations in a large metropolitan area.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



Nationally, minorities are underrepresented in community blood donation programs. The reason for this disparity is poorly understood. To better understand why minorities do not donate, first, accurate blood donor and donation data are needed.


Donor and donation demographic data were collected for 2004-2007 from a single blood collection agency in the Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area. Population data from the same area were acquired from the US Census. Donor and donation rates per 1000 population were calculated by race/ethnicity, gender, and age.


Of the 389 340 blood donations reported by donors aged 16 to 69 years (98.7% of all donations), the collections were from white (77.7%), African American (16.3%), Hispanic (2.3%), Asian (2.2%), and other (1.6%) donors. Forty- to 49-year-olds (26.8%) donated the highest percentage of units. The blood donor rates were 11 per 1000 population for whites, 6 per 1000 for African Americans and 3 per 1000 population for Hispanics. The blood donation rates were 77 donations per 1000 population for whites, 22 per 1000 population for African Americans and 10 per 1000 population for Hispanics.


Minorities are underrepresented in the blood donor pool. New recruitment strategies are needed to increase minority blood donor and donation rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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