Blood donation clusters in Québec, Canada (2003–2008): spatial variations according to sex and age

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Background and objectives

The detection of spatial clusters of blood donation rate is an important issue, especially for targeting spatial units with significantly low rates, where it could be possible to increase the numbers of donors. The objective of this study is to detect spatial clusters of high or low blood donation rate in Québec according to sex and age of the donors.

Materials and Methods

Blood donation data were obtained from Héma-Québec over a period of 5 years. We aggregated these data for each of 101 municipalités regionales de comté (i.e. counties) for men, women and four age groups. To detect spatial high/low donation rate areas, we used the Kulldorff's scan statistics. Kappa coefficient was used to assess discordance between clusters obtained for the different groups (18–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69 years old). T-test analyses were conducted to identify significant associations between spatial clusters and socio-economic variables.


The results indicate the presence of several geographical areas with high or low blood donation rates for each group. The size, the location and the socio-demographic profiles of low/high clusters vary according to sex and age categories.


The Kulldorff's scan statistics are an efficient tool to assess the blood donation performance across a country or even a specific region over a period of several years. In terms of strategic planning and monitoring, it can be used as a fully operational tool to target areas with significantly low rates (for all donors or specific demographic groups) in future blood donation campaigns.

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