Does giving blood reduce your chances of getting heart disease?

Couldn’t find any earlier thread on this 2000 Cecil column. Any good research on the question since then?

I was being tested for congenital hemochromatosis. My research showed it could cause liver damage which my grandfather and uncle had. While researching the methods of handling it, bloodletting was the preferred option. If that happens they charge you to destroy the blood. I was borderline and not actually diagnosed so I was able to truthfully tell the ARC that I did not have a blood disease and started donating regularly to keep my iron content down. Ironically at the time the Red Cross would not take blood from people with hemochromatosis. I have not researched the past 15 years to see if they have changed their stance.

BTW, my preferred donation site is a rural church. Donuts my ass. We get squeaky fresh cheese curds and aged cheddar donated by the local cheese plant. They have bake sale type goodies from the church’s women’s group, someone ponies up a sausage and cracker platter plus the Red Cross brings in their bagged cookies and munchies. I don’t bother to eat when I get home usually.

As of right now, the Red Cross does not accept blood from donors with diagnosed hemochromatosis.

http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/iron-and-blood-donation