The Danish Blood Donor Study (ENG)

A unique study

The Danish Blood Donor Study (DBDS) is a prospective and evolving research platform and biobank infrastructure. More than 150,000 blood donors have until now been included in this nation-wide open cohort with the purpose of studying the impact of blood donation on health and also more broadly disease development among the participants. At every donation, a plasma sample is stored and, currently, more than 2 million repository consecutive samples are available for research. DBDS is therefore one of the world’s largest biobanks, unique because of the high number of samples available from each participant.

The DBDS was initiated in 2010 to conduct research benefiting donors, patients, and public health by utilizing the existing infrastructure of the Danish blood centers and the help from volunteering Danish blood donors.

From “Cohort Profile: The Danish Blood Donor Study”, by C Erikstrup et al., 2022, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 00, No. 00. 

Participants, data and publications

Upon invitation, 96% of all blood donors agree to participate in research. The participants are asked to fill in a questionnaire at the time of inclusion and whole blood and plasma samples are stored in the biobank. Thereby the donors provide information on current lifestyle, anthropometric measures, perceived psychologic/mental and somatic health, with an emphasis on health related traits that are not available in public registries. In addition to allowing consecutive storage of their samples, participants also permit the use of their historical and future plasma samples for research. Hence, multiple measurements for each blood donor over a timespan are available to investigate a broad range of research questions. Research performed using data from DBDS thus encompasses studies within a range of areas.

Published studies can be found here

A broad scope of research

Although the blood donors are generally healthy at time of inclusion based on the donation criteria, some acquire diseases as they get older. Participants with diseases or traits can be identified through the unique Danish health registries, questionnaire data, clinical databases or from already available extensive genetic data.

It is therefore possible to conduct a variety of unique research projects within the DBDS and the overall vision of DBDS is to make this infrastructure open to researchers from public research institutions and companies, for studying e.g.:

  • the development and validation of early accurate diagnostics markers
  • disease development and disease trajectories
  • diseases by recall by genotype and phenotype studies
  • emerging infections – surveillance and causation
  • personalized diagnostics and disease prevention

The DBDS thus allows for detailed studies of general health and a wide range of diseases. In addition to the detailed phenotypic data, different laboratory measurements are available on the participants. We include the information on all assays that are run by the blood banks as part of the donor health screening and quality control of the blood products. Importantly, we also have extensive genetic data from +100,000 participants that have been genotyped using the Infinium Global Screening Array, Illumina, covering around 650,000 genetic markers across the genome and allowing for imputation of >20 million genetic variants. Genotyping of the remaining participants is ongoing. Also, we have approval to conduct whole genome sequencing on >60,000 participants that have been included since 2018 and these analyses are pending. Until now, the genotyping has been performed in collaboration with deCODE Genetics, Iceland.

Collaborations and contact

The DBDS infrastructure provides an internationally unique and highly professional research platform that is open to researchers wishing to pursue advanced studies on disease development and resilience.

DBDS is a part of the Bio- and Genome Bank Denmark (RBGB) as the Danish Blood Biobank (DBB). As a part of RBGB, we have an established application process, which allows external researchers from public institutions and small and medium sized companies to get access to the DBDS biobank material.

If you want to engage with us/the DBDS or get further information – please contact us via

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