Prevalence of obese or at risk individuals in the hemophilia population is now more than 50%

A single center pilot project fosters healthy eating practices and exercise in children with hemophilia

NHF 2017 (Chicago, IL August 24-26): Obesity in the hemophilia community has several negative effects; it can make it harder to access veins, it often means increased doses of pharmacological agents like factor replacement dosed based upon weight, and it accelerates joint degeneration. A poster, Impact of targeted education on obesity in children with hemophilia-a single HTC quality project presented at the annual National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) meeting describes a pilot project that sets out to foster healthy eating practices and exercise in children with hemophilia and monitor the impact of educational intervention on body mass index (BMI), a measure of obesity, at risk children with overweight or obesity. The target group was all children with hemophilia with a sub-group of obese/overweight at risk population. They were identified using the American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network (ATHN) patient database based on weight/BMI. Just over a third (37% or 33 children)of the children at this center were identified with obesity or overweight. The 2-year project, which is currently in the implementation stage, uses educational videos, healthy snack cooking demonstrations and a health fair to inform and encourage families to adopt healthy food choices. The BMI of the children will be tracked over the 2 years to determine the impact of the educational intervention. The center hopes to use their experience to create and optimize training modules for other hemophilia treatment centers to improve weight management practices, with the ultimate goal of reducing the prevalence of overweight and obese people with hemophilia.