• van den Hurk K, Peffer K, Habets K, Atsma F, Pasker-de Jong PC, van Noord PA, Veldhuizen IJ, de Kort WL. Blood donors' physical characteristics are associated with pre- and postdonation symptoms - Donor InSight. J Am Soc Hypertens. 2015 Jul;9(7):536-43.
    Pre-donation symptoms (lack of energy, headaches) were reported by three percent of men and three percent of women. Five percent of men and four percent of women reported positive post-donation symptoms (feeling fit, fewer headaches). Negative symptoms (fatigue, dizziness) were most common: eight percent of men and 19 percent of women. Physical donor characteristics, systolic blood pressure, estimated blood volume, Hb level and –in particular- BMI, were positively associated with pre- and positive post-donation symptoms and negatively associated with negative symptoms. This indicates that subgroups of donors more and less tolerant to donation might be identifiable using routinely measured data.
  • van den Hurk K, de Kort WL, Deinum J, Atsma F. Higher outdoor temperatures are progressively associated with lower blood pressure: a longitudinal study in 100,000 healthy individuals. J Am Soc Hypertens. 2015 Jul;9(7):536-43
    A database including almost 700,000 blood pressure measurements of over 100,000 donors was linked to daily temperature and humidity measurements. This allowed for in-depth analyses on the shape of the association between climate parameters and blood pressure, including stratified analyses for age groups and both sexes. Overall, higher daily temperatures were progressively associated with lower blood pressure, independent of humidity and potentially confounding factors. These associations were stronger at higher ages. Seasonality should therefore be taken into account when monitoring blood pressure, particularly in older individuals.
  • Atsma F, Veldhuizen IJT, de Vegt F, Doggen CJM, de Kort WLAM. Cardiovascular and Demographic characteristics of whole blood and plasma donors: Results from the Donor InSight study. Transfusion 2011; 51:412-20.
    Compared to the Dutch general population, Dutch donors were less often smokers (17.0% vs. 31.8%), more often moderate drinkers (82.8% vs. 74.7%) and physically more active (2.0 vs. 1.0 hours/week). Moreover, male donors were more often moderately overweight and had lower prevalences of both type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels. In conclusion, distributions of characteristics in general confirm the presence of a ‘healthy donor effect’ when comparing donors to the general population.
  • Atsma F, Veldhuizen I, Verbeek A, de Kort W, de Vegt F. Healthy donor effect: its magnitude in health research among blood donors. Transfusion 2011; 51(8):1820-8.
    This ‘healthy donor effect’ was further studied by comparing donors to the Nijmegen Biomedical Study population and by comparing groups of donors within the total donor pool (active versus lapsed and short-career versus long-career). Differences in self-rated health, being treated by a specialist and lifestyle were most pronounced when comparing donors versus the general population and active versus lapsed donors. The healthy donor effect was less pronounced within active donors, when comparing long- versus short-career donors.
  • Veldhuizen I, Atsma F, van Dongen A, de Kort W. Adverse reactions, psychological factors, and their effect on donor retention in men and women. Transfusion 2012; 52(9):1871-9.
    DIS-I data were also used to investigate the effect of experiencing a needle reaction (NR) or a vasovagal reaction (VVR) on the risk of stopping blood donation, taking into account TPB variables. Only whole blood donors with no history of donating plasma were included (n=12 051). Men reported fewer NRs and VVRs than women (NR: 2% vs 7%; VVR: 0.9% vs 4.1%). For both sexes, only experiencing a VVR was related to risk of stopping. However, this risk is considerably higher for men compared to women (OR 3.95 vs OR 2.19). When adjusting for TPB variables, the risk of stopping in both men and women declined (OR 3.38 vs OR 1.58). It was concluded that coping differences might influence the decision to stop donating.

  • Veldhuizen I, Ferguson E, de Kort W, Donders R, Atsma F. Exploring the dynamics of the theory of planned behavior in the context of blood donation: does donation experience make a difference? Transfusion 2011; 51(11):2425-37.
    The influence of TPB variables was further investigated by studying whether they predict the intention to donate at every stage of the donor career in whole blood donors. It appeared that, regardless of the number of donations donors made, a feeling of self-efficacy remains important throughout the entire donor career. This implies that even for donors with ample donation experience, feeling ‘up to it’ predicts their willingness to donate again.