Hemophilia and the Aging Community

Cardiovascular disorders and Fractures in the Aging Hemophilia Community.

NHF 2015 (Dallas, August 13-15) As more hemophilia patients are living longer, they are beginning to develop various conditions that are associated with aging such as cardiovascular disease and falls leading to fractures. In the past, data on cardiovascular disease and its consequences in patients with hemophilia has shown that they had lower occurrences of cardiovascular disease and other related illnesses compared to the general public. However, more recent data presented at the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) 2015 Annual Meeting suggests that hemophilia does not have a preventative effect against cardiovascular disease, raising questions that emphasize the need for larger scale clinical studies. It is therefore reasonable given the conflicting information about the rate of cardiac risk to conduct cardiac screening in the aging hemophilia community as you would with other similarly aged adults.

Another research study has shown that those with hemophilia had three times more fractures than those without hemophilia. It also showed that those with severe hemophilia have the highest rate. There appears to be an association between factor VIII deficiency and bone health and factor replacement will be likely beneficial.  In the past, fractures used to be more common in the lower limb of the body than in the upper limb. In recent times, the patterns of these fractures have changed becoming more common in the upper limb than in the lower limb, lowering the age at which they occur and occurring less frequently.  This is most likely due to the new and more accessible treatments that are available for the management of hemophilia.