How donating blood impacts your heart

Heather Georgoudiou February 26, 2019

Giving from the heart is good for your heart

Giving blood is part of a heart-healthy lifestyle and donating on a regular basis has proven health benefits. In fact, studies have shown that donating blood can be good for your heart.

How do blood donations impact your heart?

OneBlood Medical Director, Dr. Richard Gammon, M.D., writes “There have been studies published that show blood donors enjoy better health (Transfusion 2007) and blood donation reduces blood pressure (Transfusion 2016) and cholesterol (Am J Epi 1998).”

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the leading risks for heart attacks and there is evidence that regular blood donations may be beneficial. Being a regular donor may help with blood flow and reduce arterial blockages.

High iron stores can increase a person’s risk of heart attacks. When you give blood it depletes your iron stores and helps your body to create new blood. About 500ml of whole blood is taken during each blood donation, which removes 225-250 mg of iron.

Blood donors get a health and wellness check up

Each time you donate you'll receive a free wellness checkup that includes:

  • Blood Pressure Check
  • Pulse
  • Temperature
  • Iron Count
  • Cholesterol Reading

You can use the results of this checkup to determine your cardiovascular risk factor as well as other possible health conditions.   As a OneBlood donor, you can track your wellness checkups with each donation through the donor login portal on our website.

Donating blood can be good for your heart and offers other health benefits as well.

The wellness checkup can also reveal undetected health issues

Jaime, was 16 and excited to give blood for the first time at her high school blood drive. During her wellness check, her blood pressure was extremely high and she was not able to donate.

jaime

She immediately told her mom and went to the family physician. After many tests, she discovered she had a narrowed renal artery, which impacted the growth of her kidney. She needed surgery right way. Jaime credits the health check with saving her life.

She says, “In the process of helping people, at the same time you are getting a health checkup. Who doesn’t love that?” 

Be heart healthy: give blood every time you are eligible

On average people give blood only 1.5 times a year, but you are eligible to donate every 56 days up to 6 times a year. If everyone donated Just One More time it would cut out blood shortages.

Make a great decision for your health and the health of your community. Become a regular blood or platelet donor. Plan your next heart healthy donation.

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Heather Georgoudiou

Heather Georgoudiou is OneBlood’s Digital Marketing Analyst. She is a social media strategist and content creator with a passion for saving lives through the power of digital communications. 

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