Sally Ezzat, Alexandria University, Egypt
Purpose: The aim of this study is to compare the nutritional status of male volunteer donors with professional donors who donate blood very frequently.
Design: The sample of the study included 120 volunteer and 120 professional blood donors. The sample was taken from a leading blood bank in Alexandria using a systematic random sampling technique. Data were collected on socioeconomic characteristics, dietary intake and frequency of blood donation. Height and weight were measured and BMI was calculated. Blood samples were taken for hematological and biochemical measurements.
Findings: Professional frequent donors were of limited education, low income and came from large families. They were anemic (65.5%) and underweight (32.5%). Their energy, protein and iron intake was inadequate. The better nourished first time volunteer donors were less anemic (15.5%) and were overweight (20.8%) or Obese (14.2%). Anemia was hypochromic microcytic characterized by depressed hematological indicators. Frequent blood donation and anemia were associated with lower blood glucose and cholesterol and elevated triglyceride levels.
Value: The study points out the high prevalence of malnutrition and anemia among frequent professional blood donors and the need for their nutritional monitoring and supplementation.
Keywords: blood donors, volunteers, professionals, anemia, malnutrition, hemoglobin, lipids