The Health Benefits of Donating Blood

In the past year, the U.S. has experienced the worst blood shortage in over a decade due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19. Health concerns and limited resources in staffing have resulted in a 10% reduction in blood donations, which has made it difficult for patients in critical conditions to receive the immediate care they need.

Giving blood can be a nerve-wracking decision for some, but what you may not realize is that donating blood doesn’t just help patients–it can be good for your own health too. The perks of donating blood go beyond free cookies and juice, including:

Increased Heart Health
Myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks, can happen when blood flow to the heart is disrupted, often due to high cholesterol. Blood donations can lower these disruptions by removing excess iron deposits, which is where lipid profiles containing cholesterol and triglycerides are stored. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology followed 2,862 middle-aged men for a period of 9 years and found that those who were blood donors had reduced their risk of heart attacks by 88% compared to non-blood donors. Another study conducted on hypertensives, or those with elevated blood pressure, revealed a decrease in blood pressure over the course of a year after four blood donations.

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