Donor InSight

In the Netherlands the blood supply is dependent on voluntary non-remunerated donors. Sanquin, by law the only blood bank in the Netherlands, has a very loyal donor population of about 2.5% of the Dutch population that make approximately 800.000 donations per year. Donor InSight (DIS) is a cohort study among this donor population.

Three questionnaire rounds, DIS-I in 2007-2009 (n=31,338),DIS-II in 2012-2013 (n=34,823, of whom 22,132 also participated in DIS-I), and DIS-III in 2015-2016 (n=3,046) were completed to gain more insight into characteristics of donors, their motivations and health. The questionnaires consist of questions regarding demographics, donation, lifestyle, family composition, health and disease. DIS data can (routinely) be linked to the donor database, with details on all donations, containing donor screening results including the donor health questionnaire answers, blood pressure and haemoglobin measurements.

DIS-III also includes DNA sequencing, analyses of markers of iron metabolism and additional questions on iron-deficiency related symptoms. Furthermore, blood lipid profiles and a complete blood count were determined and physical activity and sedentary behavior were objectively measured by accelerometers.

Knowledge of donor behaviour, health effects of donation and donor characteristics is needed to enhance strategies to recruit new donors, reduce the number of deferred donors and keep donors healthy. Apart from that, DIS provides a unique opportunity to study questions in the fields of blood transfusion, public health, social sciences, epidemiology, (bio) statistics and haematology.

Donor InSight was performed by the Department of Donor Studies and the Unit Donor Services with financial support of Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation.