Cardiovascular disease risk assessment and prevention in blood donors

Debra A. Kessler, Caroline Ortiz, Kathleen Grima, David Vlahov, Vijay Nandi, Robert Jones, Christopher D. Hillyer, Beth H. Shaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Blood centers have implemented public health initiatives, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening, to improve donor and community health and serve as an incentive to donate. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: CVD risk screening and counseling were performed at mobile blood drives in diverse neighborhoods. Risk factors were determined by point-of-care testing (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, and hemoglobin A1c levels), interviews, and physical examinations (body mass index, waist circumference, and blood pressure). Results were confidentially relayed to participant by health counselors. A 60-day follow-up survey was sent to some participants. RESULTS: Over 11 months, 2406 participants (44% male; mean age 28 ± 16; 67% minority racial/ethnic group) were screened at 290 mobile drives. A total of 92% of participants had medical insurance. A total of 14% had none, 26% one, 33% two, and 27% three or more risk factors. A total of 72% of teenage participants had at least one risk factor. A total of 18% of participants who were taking medications for risks were poorly controlled. A total of 15% had newly identified risks. A total of 711 participants completed follow-up survey: 21% sought medical care, 51% were motivated to change their lifestyle, 81% were pleased with screening, 48% were more likely to donate, and 62% recommended donation to friends and family because of the screening. CONCLUSION: CVD risk screening and counseling can occur during a mobile blood drive. A majority of participants screened had risk factors. Follow-up surveys showed that the program was well received. Further studies are planned to evaluate long-term effects of the program on donor health and donor return rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2174-2182
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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