Are women blood donors riskier than men? A new study challenges the fears of the past |

patients receiving blood donations do not face an increased risk of death whether the blood came from a man or a woman, according to new research that challenges long-held assumptions.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday found that there was no difference in overall survival rates between recipients of blood from male donors and recipients of blood from female donors.

Until now, the thinking has been that those who obtain blood from female donors may face increased risk for a number of reasons.

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The clinical trial conducted at Ottawa Hospital enrolled approximately 9,000 patients over a two-year period, from 2018 to 2020.

“Our randomized trial found that there is actually no difference between blood from male and female donors across the board…in all types of recipients, from surgical patients to physicians, ICU to outpatient,” said Dr. Dean Fergusson, a senior scientist at Ottawa Hospital. and professor at the University of Ottawa.

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Some previous observational studies have suggested that there is an increased risk of death after blood transfusions in women, especially those who have a pregnancy historycompared to men.

Fergusson, co-author of the NEJM study, said it was thought that differences in hormone levels, antibodies and iron levels would result in greater benefit from receiving male blood than female blood.

The hypothesis is that previous pregnancies that transmit antibodies to the blood could affect the recipient’s immune response, as well as the inflammatory response to receiving blood, he said.

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However, the results of the trial, which also included pregnant people, suggested otherwise.

“We didn’t see any difference,” Fergusson said, adding that the study helps maintain the “status quo” when it comes to collecting blood from donors in Canada.

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Based on their findings, donor collection policies should remain the same, Fergusson said.

According to Canadian Blood ServicesFirst-time blood donors must be at least 17 years old and in good general health.

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Those most at risk from donating blood are young people between the ages of 17 and 25, menstruating women and frequent donors, CBS says on its website.

pregnant people are not eligible to donate blood in Canada.

Last year, the agency expanded donor eligibility in the country, removing a long-standing ban in September on men who have sex with men.

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Instead, all donors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, are now asked if they have had new and/or multiple sexual partners in the past three months.

In Octoberthe agency also shortened the waiting period for acupuncture patients to donate blood and removed the lifetime ban on sex workers.

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