Prevalence and determinants of declining versus stable hemoglobin levels in whole blood donors

K. Nasserinejad, J. van Rosmalen, K. van den Hurk, M. Baart, T. Hoekstra, D. Rizopoulos, E. Lesaffre, W. Kort

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19 Citations (Scopus)


A too short recovery time after blood donation results in a gradual depletion of iron stores and a subsequent decline in hemoglobin (Hb) levels over time. This decline in Hb levels may depend on individual, unobserved characteristics of the donor. We used a data set of 5388 Dutch blood donors from the Donor InSight study. The statistical analysis is based on a Bayesian growth mixture model, which assumes that each donor belongs to one of several groups. Each group implies a different Hb trajectory, and donors with similar longitudinal trajectories belong to the same group. Analyses were performed for male and female donors separately. For both sexes the model identified four groups of donors. Stable Hb trajectories were found among 14% of male donors and 15% of female donors; declining Hb trajectories were observed in the remaining groups of donors. The percentage of donor deferrals differed strongly between groups. The model can be used to predict to which group a donor belongs, and this prediction can be updated after each donation. This is of high practical importance because early identification of donors with declining Hb levels could help to tailor donation intervals and to prevent iron deficiency and donor deferrals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1955-1963
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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