|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 17-20
Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in blood donors at a tertiary care hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan
Usman Waheed1, Muhammad Arshad2, Sadia Sultan3, Muhammad Saeed4, Abida Arshad5, Syed Muhammad Irfan3, Hassan Abbas Zaheer6
1 Department of Blood Transfusion Services, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University; Safe Blood Transfusion Programme, Ministry of National Health Services, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, Pakistan
2 Department of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan
3 Department of Haematology, Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan
4 Department of Pathology, DHQ Hospital, Mandi Bahauddin, Pakistan
5 Department of Zoology, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
6 Safe Blood Transfusion Programme, Ministry of National Health Services, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, Pakistan
|Date of Web Publication||5-Apr-2018|
Dr. Usman Waheed
Department of Blood Transfusion Services, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University; Safe Blood Transfusion Programme, Ministry of National Health Services, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of iron deficiency anemia among the blood donors. Methods: A prospective, single center cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Blood Transfusion Services, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad, Pakistan, from February 2017 to June 2017. A total of 528 blood donors who donated blood without prior screening for hemoglobin levels were enrolled for this study. Blood samples were tested for six hematological and five biochemical parameters including hemoglobin level, red cell count, packed cell volume, mean cell volume, mean cell hemoglobin, mean cell hemoglobin concentration, serum ferritin, iron, total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation, and unsaturated iron binding capacity. Results: Of 528 blood donors, 251 (47.53%) were first-time donors, 203 (38.44%) had donated twice previously but not in the past 12 months, and 74 (14.01%) were regular donors with minimum three donations per year. All of the donors were males with a mean age of 29.2 years (range = 18–56 years). Of these, the regular donors showed the reduction in mean values of the parameters studied. Conclusion: The blood bank management needs to review the donor selection criteria for donation. Regular voluntary donors should be given an iron supplement to prevent the depletion of iron stores.
Keywords: Blood donors, iron deficiency anemia, Pakistan
|How to cite this article:|
Waheed U, Arshad M, Sultan S, Saeed M, Arshad A, Irfan SM, Zaheer HA. Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in blood donors at a tertiary care hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan. Glob J Transfus Med 2018;3:17-20
|How to cite this URL:|
Waheed U, Arshad M, Sultan S, Saeed M, Arshad A, Irfan SM, Zaheer HA. Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in blood donors at a tertiary care hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan. Glob J Transfus Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 16];3:17-20. Available from: http://www.gjtmonline.com/text.asp?2018/3/1/17/229338
| Introduction|| |
Iron deficiency is the most widespread form of malnutrition affecting both developing and developed nations. The deficiency affects more people than any other condition, establishing a public health condition of a magnitude equaling to an epidemic. Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) decreases the work capacity of the affected population, resulting in alarming economic consequences and impediments to the national development. According to the World health organization (WHO), in low human development index countries, every second pregnant woman and about 40% of preschool children are estimated to be anemic. IDA is the most common cause of anemia. In 2002, it was considered to be the most important factor contributing to the global burden of disease. Although iron deficiency is considered as the major cause of anemia, there is little data on its occurrence in any given population. The probable reason is that it is difficult to singularly assess to provide adequate information on the iron status and require concurrent values of the red cell indices to have reliable information on the status of iron deficiency.
The effect of blood donation on iron status has been considered since the late 1970s., Every single donation of whole blood unit depletes a male with about 242 ± 17 mg of iron and a female with 217 ± 11 mg of iron. Chronic iron deficiency is a well-recognized complication of regular blood donation. It is known that the IDA is an ultimate stage of iron deficiency and that hemoglobin level alone are inadequate for detecting blood donors with iron deficiency in the absence of anemia.,
IDA is an important restrictive factor for the number of donations in regular donors. Earlier studies show that the incidence of iron stores depletion increases with an increase in the number of donations. The risk of blood donation and iron deficiency is often not recognized by donors or their doctors. A study from the USA on a huge sample size resulted in very alarming statistics. The study stated that among frequent donors, two-thirds (66%) of the women and almost half (49%) of the men were iron deficient.
While conventional screening program based on the level of hemoglobin are adequate to collect a blood unit from a regular donor, it does not indicate the development of progressive iron deficiency over a period through depletion of the body iron. Continuous loss of iron in the body may lead to iron-deficient erythropoiesis and anemia. The estimation of serum ferritin level among the repeat donors is of paramount importance to the safety of the blood donors. The Pakistan blood transfusion system is largely fragmented, individual blood banks work in isolation and based primarily on replacement/family donations. A considerable proportion of blood establishments operate without any formal registration and documentation framework. With a lack of an appropriate donor management system, the donors' questionnaire on medical history, screening for the level of hemoglobin, weight, etc., are not recorded. Sometimes, the donors faint and complain of weakness after the donation  presumably due to a subnormal hemoglobin level. There is a dearth of studies in Pakistan on the prevalence of IDA among the blood donors. The objective of the present study was to assess the incidence of IDA in blood donors using the hematological and biochemical parameters.
| Methods|| |
The prospective, single center, cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Blood Transfusion Services, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU), Islamabad, Pakistan during the 4 months period between February 2017 and June 2017. A total of 528 blood donors had donated blood without prior screening for hemoglobin levels. Almost 500 ml of blood was drawn from each blood donor. The blood sample was taken at the end of the donation procedure for hematological and biochemical workup.
Six hematological indices such as hemoglobin (Hb), red blood cells (RBCs) count, Hct value, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), and MCH concentration (MCHC) were included in the study. Similarly, five biochemical iron parameters such as ferritin, iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation, and unsaturated iron binding capacity were included in the study. The WHO hemoglobin thresholds were used to categorize whether an individual is anemic.
The hematological parameters were assessed using the XP-300 hematology analyzer (Sysmex Corporation). The biochemical tests (ferritin, unbound iron binding capacity [UIBC], iron) were performed on the Hitachi Modular P800 (Roche Diagnostics) according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ferritin was tested using a human ferritin enzyme immunoassay kit (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Germany) based on a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay principle. UIBC and iron were tested using ferrozine-based kits using colorimetric principle (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Germany). The kits and samples were refrigerated and brought to room temperature before use. All the test procedures were performed according to the manufacturer's instructions included in the kit. Transferrin saturation and TIBC were calculated as follows: TIBC = UIBC + Iron; Transferrin saturation = Iron/TIBC × 100. The anemia, isolated iron deficiency, and IDA were defined below.
- Anemia: Hb <12 g/dl, RBC count <4.6 × 106/uL, PCV <41%, MCV <80 fl MCH <31 Pg, MCHC 31 g/dL
- Isolated iron deficiency: serum ferritin <20 ng/mL, iron <59 ug/dL, TIBC >400 ug/dL, transferrin saturation <20%
- Iron-deficiency anemia: hemoglobin <12 g/dL + serum ferritin < 20 ng/mL.
Ethical approval of the study was taken from the Ethical Review Board of the SZABMU. The statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS software version 19.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). Comparative assessment between the study groups was made with the Student's t-test for parametric data and the Mann–Whitney test for nonparametric data. The value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant while comparing the data among the groups.
| Results|| |
The study included 528 blood donors of which 251 (47.53%) were first-time replacement donors, 203 (38.44%) were replacement donors and had donated at most twice previously but not in the past 12 months, and 74 (14.01%) were regular voluntary donors (minimum three donations per year). All of the donors were male and gave informed consent to participate in the study. The mean age of the study participants was 29.2 years (range = 18–56 years). The mean values of all biochemical and hematological parameters were considerably lower in the regular voluntary blood donors than the other two groups of donors [Table 1].
There was no significant association between age of the donors and the iron deficiency, anemia, and IDA. The prevalence of anemia among the donors classified in different categories is shown in [Table 2].
|Table 2: Classification and prevalence of anemia, isolated iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia|
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| Discussion|| |
Globally, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional ailment, and chronic iron deficiency is a strong impediment to regular blood donation. Iron is an indispensable element of the human metabolism with a central role in erythropoiesis and other key intracellular processes in of the body. The potential for an individual donor to give blood without developing IDA is dependent on several factors including differences in nutritional iron intake, the prevalence of iron deficiency in the given particular population, menstrual blood iron loss in females, and the frequency of blood donation., Recent studies have shown that the frequency of iron deficiency is high in blood donors and more pronounced depending on the frequency of donation than on the accumulated number of donations.,
The study echoes back the findings of earlier studies, in that the prevalence of iron deficiency increased with frequent blood donations., In our study, 20.2% and 9.68% had iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia, respectively. It reports the results observed in male blood donors divided into first-time donors, replacement donors and voluntary regular donors in the Department of Blood Transfusion Services, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad, Pakistan which would deduce the findings to the entire population of Islamabad. Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first study of its kind which reports information about anemia, isolated iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia among blood donors in our region. The study describes an overview of the consequences face by blood donors which could be used to optimize the conditions of recruitment of the blood donors and to minimize the common nutritional disorders in Pakistan.
In our study, 20.2% and 9.68% of blood donors had iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia, respectively [Table 2]. The findings in the present study indicate that iron deficiency among the donors co rrelates with the frequency of blood donation as has been observed by Lee at al. Increase in a number of blood donations led to increase in the prevalence of iron deficiency. Anemia, isolated iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia are rare in first-time donors, but it is more frequently found in replacement donors and voluntary regular donors.
Similarly, a US-based study by Cable et al. dividing the blood donors into first-time donors and regular donors show the same result with approximately 10 times higher frequency in blood donors with 10 donations (31%) as compared to the first-time donors (2.6%). The frequency of anemia, isolated iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia increases with a number of blood donations. Javadzadeh Shahshahani et al. found an occurrence of 26.5% among regular blood donors and none (0%) in first-time donors. Goldman et al. also found elevated prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in first-time donors and those with less than two donations with the increase of 0.2%–0.8% in men. Salvin et al. has also confirmed the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in Australia. This iron deficiency anemia was 26.4% in females with at least one donation in the past one year which elevated with frequent blood donations and decreased with age. While in male donors, the prevalence of iron deficient anemia was 6.3% without the influence of age factor.
| Conclusion|| |
Among the two categories of the donors, the regular donors were found to be more affected by iron deficiency as shown by the reduction in mean values of both hematological and biochemical iron parameters. The blood bank management needs to review the screening criteria used at the time of donation. Regular voluntary donors may be given iron supplementation to prevent depletion of iron stores. One key recommendation is to include serum ferritin measurement to assess regular blood donors.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2]