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Keywords:

  • osteoporosis;
  • haemophilia;
  • fracture;
  • India;
  • Hepatitis C

Abstract

Arthropathies and joint deformities in patients with severe hemophilia result in prolonged immobilization, reduced physical activity, and predispose them for osteoporosis. This can lead to an increasing tendency of bone fragility and fractures in patients after trivial trauma. The aim of this study was to find out (i) the prevalence of osteoporosis in hemophilia patients and (ii) the association of osteoporosis with hemophilic arthropathy and related restricted physical activity. In this case–control study, 50 consecutive severe hemophilia patients aged between 20 and 50 years were evaluated for osteoporosis with measurement of bone mass density (BMD) by a DEXA scan and values were compared with that of 50 sex matched normal healthy controls. Major joints of the limbs were evaluated to determine the extent of joint damage and related disability. Forty-two patients had severe hemophilia A and 8 patients severe hemophilia B (efficient factor activity < 0.01 U/ml). BMD values (gms/cm2) of lumbar spine and left hip of the patients were significantly lower than that of controls (0.825 vs. 0.939; P < 0.0001 and 0.725 vs. 0.938; P < 0.0001, respectively). The incidence of osteoporosis (T score: −2.5 or more) was significantly higher in hemophiliacs. Incidence of fractures in adult life was also significantly higher in hemophiliacs compared to controls (12% vs. 0%). There was statistically significant correlation between joint evaluation scores and BMD of hip, but not with that of the lumbar spine. There was no correlation between Hepatitis-C virus status and BMD of any site. This shows that development of osteoporosis is a significant problem in patients with severe hemophilia in this country. Hence appropriate preventive measures such as early treatment and adequate mobilization, exercises, encouragement to participate in sporting activities, early assessment of bone density, and administration of anti-osteoporotic therapy is recommended. Am. J. Hematol., 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.