Clinical challenges within the aging hemophilia population

Barbara A Konkle
Thrombosis Research 2011, 127: S10-3
Older patients with hemophilia face many challenges related not only to hemophilia but also to general comorbidity associated with aging. Patients with hemophilia often have known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, which may counteract any protective effects bestowed by the hypocoagulable state. Arthritis and joint disease are common and contribute to disability and pain. The high prevalence of chronic HCV infection has led to an increased risk for liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. Renal function and urological disorders are a concern in these patients, and issues related to sexuality are an important but often-overlooked issue. The use of routine procedures for general health maintenance in the elderly (e.g. colonoscopy) can be more complex in patients with hemophilia due to the inherent risk of bleeding, and serious disorders such as malignancy can be overlooked if signs of abnormal bleeding are attributed to hemophilia, rather than to cancer. Prospective studies are needed to address these challenges so that evidence-based guidance can be given to clinicians who treat older patients with hemophilia.

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