BackgroundHistorically, minority populations have represented only a small proportion of US blood donors, but recent trends in immigration and potential blood shortages emphasize the need for recruitment strategies to increase minority donations.
Study design and methodsDonation data from a network of six US blood centers for 2006 were analyzed. Race/ethnicity, country of birth, and educational attainment data were collected specifically for the study and assessed for their influence on donation behavior. Logistic regression was used to determine independent associations with repeat donors status and annual donation frequency.
ResultsA total of 1,288,998 donations from 729,068 donors were studied; most donors had data on race/ethnicity (97.1%) and country of birth (93.1%). The proportion of minority donors differed by blood center, with African American donors (16%) most common at the Southeastern blood center and Asian (12%), Hispanic (13%), and foreign-born donors (13%) most common at the Northern California blood center. Minority donors and those born in Mexico or Latin America were younger than white donors. Minority and non-US-born donors were less likely than white and US-born donors to be repeat donors (odds ratio [OR], 0.60-0.78), and most were less likely to give two or more annual donations (OR, 0.82-1.11).
ConclusionMinority and Mexico/Latin America-born donors represent a younger and often first-time donor population compared to white and US-born donors, but their annual donation frequency was only slightly lower than white and US-born donors. Increasing the retention and donation frequency of minorities will be important for supplementing the blood supply.