Men beware! Receiving blood transfusions from a woman donor, who has ever been pregnant, is linked to an increased risk of death among males, warns a recent study.
The number of deaths in this group was 3,969 (13 percent mortality).
The results revealed that men, who received blood transfusions from previously pregnant female donors, were 13 percent more likely to die, compared with men who received blood transfusions from male donors.
Blood transfusion is a safe, common procedure in which blood is given to you through an intravenous (IV) line in one of your blood vessels. Blood transfusions are done to replace blood lost during surgery or due to a serious injury.
The most common cause of transfusion-related mortality is Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI), which has also been shown to be associated with transfusions from female donors.
Furthermore, TRALI is associated specifically with transfusions from female donors with a history of pregnancy.
Rutger A. Middelburg from Sanquin Research, Leiden, the Netherlands and colleagues conducted a study of first-time transfusion recipients at six major Dutch hospitals to quantify the association between red blood cell transfusion from female donors with and without a history of pregnancy and mortality of red blood cell recipients.
The group for the primary analyses consisted of 31,118 patients, who received 59,320 red blood cell transfusions from one of three types of donors (88 percent male; six percent ever-pregnant female; and six percent never-pregnant female).
For male recipients of red blood cell transfusions, all-cause mortality rates after a red blood cell transfusion from an ever-pregnant female donor vs male donor were 101 vs 80 deaths per 1,000 person-years.
For receipt of transfusion from a never-pregnant female donor vs male donor, mortality rates were 78 vs 80 deaths per 1,000 person-years.
Among female recipients of red blood cell transfusions, mortality rates for an ever-pregnant female donor vs male donor were 74 vs 62 per 1,000 person-years.
The authors suggested that further research is needed to replicate these findings, determine their clinical significance, and identify the underlying mechanism.
The research appears in Jama Network Journals.