What is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is very rare -- only about 20,000 Americans have the disorder.
It affects mostly males, as it is an X chromosome linked condition. Hemophilia affects 1 in 5,000 male births in the U.S. and approximately 400 babies are born with hemophilia each year. 400,000 people worldwide are living with hemophilia and about 20,000 are living with it in the United States alone. All races and economic groups are affected equally. People with hemophilia who have access to factor replacement therapy have a normal life expectancy.
Types of Hemophilia
Bleeding disorders are treated differently depending on what protein is missing in the blood. Hemophilia is one of the most common bleeding disorders and is classified as follows:
- Hemophilia A – Also called classic hemophilia, it is 4 times more common than hemophilia B, and it occurs when factor VIII levels are deficient.
- Hemophilia B – Also called Christmas disease, it occurs when factor IX levels are deficient.
- Hemophilia C – It occurs when factor XI levels are deficient
- Acquired hemophilia – A person can develop hemophilia as a result of illness, medications, or pregnancy. Acquired hemophilia is extremely rare and usually resolves itself with proper diagnosis and treatment.
Severity of the Disorder
Hemophilia A and B
|Normal factor levels||50% – 150%|
|Mild hemophilia||5% – 49%|
|Severe hemophilia||Less than 1%|
Symptoms of Hemophilia
A person with hemophilia can bleed inside or outside of the body. People with hemophilia do not bleed more than people without hemophilia, they just bleed longer. The most common types of bleeds are into the joints and muscles. Other symptoms include:
- Nose bleeds
- Prolonged bleeding from minor cuts
- Bleeding that stops and resumes after stopping for only a short time
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the stool
- Large bruises
- Easy bruising (unexplained bruising)
- Excessive bleeding with dental work or tooth extraction
- Heavy periods and/or periods lasting more than 7 days