Challenges and controversies in haemophilia care in adulthood


Gerry Dolan, Department of Haematology, Nottingham University Hospitals, NHS Trust, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, United Kingdom.
Tel.: +44 115 969 1169 ext. 6117; fax +44 115 9627606;


Summary.  Overall life expectancy and quality of life among persons with haemophilia have increased in recent years, primarily because of the advances in factor replacement therapy and better treatment of infectious diseases. Older haemophilic patients now face aging co-morbidities that are common in the general male population, such as cardiovascular or metabolic diseases, prostate hypertrophy and hepatic, prostate and other cancers. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease and incidence of vascular events among older haemophilic patients can be expected to increase and haemophilic patients may become prone to some cardiovascular risk factors, warranting preventative measures. The treatment of long-term complications of hepatitis C virus infection such as liver cirrhosis and hepatic cancer can be expected to be required in a large portion of the older haemophilia population for some years to come. Appropriate antiviral treatment and close monitoring for possible disease advancement will constitute an important part of routine medical care, and special considerations may be appropriate in conjunction with invasive procedures, chemo- or radiotherapy. At the moment, hard data on which to base the management of these conditions are largely lacking, but can be expected to increase dramatically in the coming decades. In the meantime, the ageing population of haemophilia patients should be offered the same comprehensive health care offered to the general population, which may require a restructuring of health care delivery.