Utilization of blood transfusion among older adults in the United States.

TitleUtilization of blood transfusion among older adults in the United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsRogers, MAM, Blumberg, N, Heal, JM, Langa, KM
Date Published2011 Apr
ISSN Number1537-2995
KeywordsAge Distribution, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Black or African American, Blood Transfusion, Female, Humans, Male, United States, White People

BACKGROUND: While there have been epidemiologic studies of blood donors, the characteristics of individuals who receive transfusions have not been well described for the US population.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Subjects were from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study whose data were linked to Medicare files from 1991 through 2007 (n = 16,377). A cohort study was conducted to assess the frequency of transfusion in older Americans over time and to describe the characteristics of blood recipients.

RESULTS: Thirty-one percent (95% confidence interval [CI], 30%-33%) of older Americans received at least one transfusion within a 10-year period and 5.8% (95% CI, 5.4%-6.2%) experienced repeated transfusion-related visits within 30 days. The mean number of transfusion-related visits was 2.3 over a 10-year period (95% CI, 2.2-2.4). Older Americans who lived in the South were most likely to receive a transfusion (34%), independent of demographic and health-related factors, while those who lived in the western United States were the least likely (26%). Predictors of transfusion included smoking, low body mass index, and a history of cancer, diabetes mellitus, end-stage renal disease, and heart disease. African-Americans and Mexican-Americans had greater rates of blood utilization than other races and other Hispanics (respectively). There were also differences in transfusion utilization by education, marital status, religion, and alcohol use.

CONCLUSIONS: Transfusion is common in older Americans. Regional variations in blood use are not explained by patient characteristics alone.

User Guide Notes


Endnote Keywords

health services/blood transfusions/blood transfusions

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalTransfusion
Citation Key7585
PubMed ID21087284
PubMed Central IDPMC3078991
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R21 HL093129-02 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R21 HL093129 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
5R21HL093129-02 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG09740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R21 HL093129-01A1 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States