Blood Donation May Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Donating blood is a selfless act that helps 5 million people each year. In fact, in just about an hour, a pint of your blood can make a difference in as many as 3 lives. But your donation may do as much for your health as it does for the recipient. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that regular blood donation may reduce risk for heart attack.

Study participants who donated blood had an 88% lower risk of developing acute myocardial infarction than those who did not donate. The researchers hypothesized that repeated donations decrease high iron levels and their negative effect on cardiovascular health.

Of course the act of giving alone has its own benefits. Studies show that the gift of self promotes physical and emotional healing, reduces stress and depression, and stimulates a “helper’s high.”

If you’re 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are free of restricting health issues, you’re a prime candidate for blood donation. Contact your local American Red Cross, United Blood Services, or American Blood Centers to learn more about eligibility, upcoming blood drives, and blood registry programs.

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