• atherosclerosis;
  • haemophilia;
  • heart disease;
  • prevalence;
  • risk factors

Summary.  Atherosclerotic heart disease (ASHD) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in Western society. Few studies have determined prevalence and predictors of ASHD in haemophilia (HA), a population whose survival is improving with safer blood products and effective treatments for AIDS and hepatitis C. The purpose of this study was to determine prevalence and factors associated with ASHD in haemophilia A patients in Pennsylvania. The prevalence of ASHD (myocardial infarction, angina and coronary disease), cardiac catheterization, coronary angiography, co-morbidities and in-hospital mortality were assessed on statewide ASHD discharge data, 2001–2006, from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). The prevalence of haemophilia ASHD admissions fluctuated between 6.5% and 10.5% for 2001–2006, P = 0.62. Compared with HA without ASHD, HA with ASHD were older and more likely to be hypertensive, hyperlipidemic and diabetic, all P < 0.0001, with greater severity of illness, P = 0.013. In contrast, HA and non-HA with ASHD had similar rates of hypertension, diabetes and ICD-9 specified ischaemic heart disease, including acute myocardial infarction (MI), P = 0.39, old MI, P = 0.47 and angina, P = 0.63. Rates of catheterization and angiography, P = 0.06 and P = 0.07, were marginally lower, but primary circulatory system admitting diagnoses, P = 0.29, were similar between HA and non-HA ASHD groups, as was length of stay, P = 0.14, severity of illness, P = 0.64, and in-hospital deaths, P = 0.75. Haemophilia patients with ASHD have similar cardiovascular risk factors, admitting diagnoses, severity of illness and in-hospital mortality as the general population. These findings suggest that cardiovascular prevention measures should be promoted in haemophilia.