Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Men Who Donate Blood May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease, According To KU Medical Center Study

Date:
September 1, 1997
Source:
University Of Kansas
Summary:
Men who donate blood may reduce their risk of heart disease by up to 30 percent, according to a study led by David Meyers, M.D., professor of internal medicine and preventive medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Story by Rosemary Hope

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Men who donate blood may reduce their risk of heart disease by up to 30 percent, according to a study led by David Meyers, M.D., professor of internal medicine and preventive medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The study, "Possible association of a reduction in vascular events with blood donation," is published in the August issue of the journal Heart.

The study supports the "iron hypothesis" which suggests that women are protected from atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, because they have lower body stores of iron than men. Through menstrual blood loss, women have one-half the iron stores and suffer about one-half the heart attacks and deaths from heart disease as men of similar age.

"What this means for men is - if you donate blood, in a sense you can become a virtual woman and protect yourself from heart disease," said Meyers. "We have identified another reason for blood donation, beyond altruism, for men."

Subjects for the study were men and women, aged 40 or older, with no history of heart disease. They were drawn from the Nebraska Diet Heart Study, a 1985-1987 population-density-based and demographically representative study. The subjects were recontacted from 1992 to 1993 and surveyed about 39 items that included demographics, occurrences of heart disease or procedures, diet, cholesterol levels, smoking and blood donation.

Of the 3,855 in the study, 655 reported donating at least one unit of whole blood in the preceding 10 years. Of the donor group, 9.77 percent reported "vascular events," defined as heart attack, stroke, angioplasty, bypass surgery and nitroglycerin use, compared to 17.72 percent of the non-donors.

When the study group was divided into males and females, the benefit of blood donation was apparent only in the men. The benefit was negated in men by cigarette smoking. There was a much smaller benefit in reduced heart disease risk for women who donated blood.

The observed reduction in vascular events can be explained in two ways, said Meyers. "Either iron depletion through blood donation truly affects atherosclerosis, or on the other hand, mainly healthy people who are at low risk of heart disease are blood donors."

Meyers plans to conduct a randomized clinical trial of 4,000 men in the Kansas City area to determine which answer is correct. The results of the study may not prove that blood donation prevents heart disease, said Meyers. But the study does support the iron hypothesis, which suggests that stored iron in the body stimulates the process in which cholesterol is oxidized, an event that is thought to be involved in atherosclerosis. A smaller study published in March in the British Medical Journal supports the hypothesis also. This study reported that blood donation reduced the risk of heart attack by 86 percent among 2,682 Finnish men. "It could be a win-win situation," said Meyers. "Even if the iron hypothesis is proved incorrect, donating blood is still the right thing to do."

Meyers' co-authors for the study are Daniel Strickland, M.S.P.H., Ph.D., Pierre Maloley, Pharm.D., and Jeanette Seburg, M.T.., all of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha; and Janet Wilson, M.T., and Bruce McManus, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. - KUMC -


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Kansas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Kansas. "Men Who Donate Blood May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease, According To KU Medical Center Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970901072035.htm>.
University Of Kansas. (1997, September 1). Men Who Donate Blood May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease, According To KU Medical Center Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970901072035.htm
University Of Kansas. "Men Who Donate Blood May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease, According To KU Medical Center Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970901072035.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins