Background

Between 2002 and 2004, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Akademiska Hospital in Uppsala and the University Hospital in Odense collected and assembled data from all Swedish and Danish blood banks. The data was restructured and entered into the Scandinavian Donations and Transfusions (SCANDAT) database. The database contains data collected over a period of 34 years between 1968 and 2002 on no fewer than 15 million donations made by 1.1 million blood donors and almost 12 million transfusions administered to 1.3 million recipients.

In addition to the “core” blood data, the SCANDAT database has been linked to a variety of health outcomes registers such as cancer, inpatient, medical birth and cause of death registers, permitting exciting biomedical research.

Since its finalization in 2004, the SCANDAT database has been used in a large range of publications published in international peer reviewed medical journals. For a complete listing, see Publications. Most of the current research emphasis of the database is on clinical nuances of blood transfusions, with studies of the health effects of long-term storage of red-cell concentrates and of the influence of plasma from female donors. On a separate, but related track, we also have a study coming where we show for the first time how anemia develops in the early, pre-diagnostic stages of malignant disease.

The database, which in its original shape was de-identified and locked to data from 2002 and earlier, has now been updated with data until 2013. To read more about the update and our plans for the database, see Current activities.