Ferritin Trajectories over Repeated Whole Blood Donations: Results from the FIND+ Study

Sara Moazzen, Maike G. Sweegers, Mart Janssen, Boris M. Hogema, Trynke Hoekstra, Katja van den Hurk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Depending on post-donation erythropoiesis, available iron stores, and iron absorption rates, optimal donation intervals may differ between donors. This project aims to define subpopulations of donors with different ferritin trajectories over repeated donations. Methods: Ferritin levels of 300 new whole blood donors were measured from stored (lookback) samples from each donation over two years in an observational cohort study. Latent classes of ferritin level trajectories were investigated separately using growth mixture models for male and female donors. General linear mixed models assessed associations of ferritin levels with subsequent iron deficiency and/or low hemoglobin. Results: Two groups of donors were identified using group-based trajectory modeling in both genders. Ferritin levels showed rather linear reductions among 42.9% of male donors and 87.7% of female donors. For the remaining groups of donors, steeper declines in ferritin levels were observed. Ferritin levels at baseline and the end of follow-up varied greatly between groups. Conclusion: Repeated ferritin measurements show depleting iron stores in all-new whole blood donors, the level at which mainly depends on baseline ferritin levels. Tailored, less intensive donation strategies might help to prevent low iron in donors, and could be supported with ferritin monitoring and/or iron supplementation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3581
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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