5 hemophilia facts you might not know
Hemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder, is a typically hereditary disease in which the blood does not clot properly. This can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery. We explore a few key hemophilia facts that you might not know.
5 hemophilia fast facts
- The two most common types of hemophilia are hemophilia A and hemophilia B. Hemophilia results from a missing or deficient protein needed for blood clotting. Hemophilia A is caused by a lack of clotting factor VIII and hemophilia B is caused by a lack of clotting factor IX. The disease varies from person to person: it can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the percentage of factor levels in a person’s blood.
- Hemophilia occurs in about 1 of every 5,000 male births. Hemophilia A is about four times as common as hemophilia B, and about half of those affected have a severe form. Approximately 400,000 people worldwide are living with hemophilia and about 20,000 are living with it in the United States. Hemophilia affects people from all racial and ethnic groups.
- There is no cure for hemophilia, but treatments have come a long way. One type of hemophilia treatment is replacement therapy: doctors inject concentrates of clotting factor VIII or clotting factor IX into a patient’s vein to replace low or missing factor. Some people have regular therapy to prevent bleeding.
- Hemophilia symptoms range, but they normally include:
- bleeding into the joints (this can cause swelling and pain or tightness in the joints; it often affects the knees, elbows, and ankles)
- bleeding into the skin (which can cause big bruises) or muscle and soft tissue causing a build-up of blood in the area
- bleeding of the mouth and gums
- bleeding after having shots
- blood in the urine or stool
- frequent and hard-to-stop nosebleeds
Hemophilia research can’t move forward without patients taking part. The good news: clinical trials and research studies are available for people living with hemophilia.