The 4 types of hemophilia

Experts distinguish 3 types of hemophilia. In the following lines we show you what its characteristics are and how common they are.

Last update: December 28, 2021

Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood has lost the ability to clot. It is usually classified according to its severity, so that patients can manifest mild, moderate or severe symptoms. We can also distinguish several types of hemophilia, which are determined based on the particularities that prevent clotting.

As the National Hemophilia Foundation reminds us, bleeding in diagnosed patients can be both external and internal. The disorder has no cure, but there are injection treatments to stop or reduce the chance of bleeding. Let’s see what the types of hemophilia are to delve deeper into the condition.

Main types of hemophilia

Researchers believe that there are currently around 400,000 hemophiliacs worldwide. Not all have the same intensity in terms of bleeding episodes, as well as the etiological variant developed. Indeed, there are several types of hemophilia.

Most doctors endorse the existence of 3 types of hemophilia: A, B and C. In the following lines we detail the characteristics of these four manifestations.

Hemophilia A

Hemophilia A cases are the most common. They usually appear from childhood, and some of the bleeding can be spontaneous.

Hemophilia A, or type A hemophilia, is a bleeding disorder caused by the absence of factor VIII coagulation. It is more frequent in men than in women and includes an average of 85% of hemophiliacs. That is to say, type A hemophilia is the most common manifestation of this bleeding disorder.

In general, this variant is developed by a defective gene linked to the X chromosome. Patients inherit this gene that directly affects the blood clotting trait. Since women have two X chromosomes, the second can replace the deficiency of the first. Men only have one, so this explains why it is more common in them.

There are two possibilities: that the body produces very little of the protein responsible for clotting or that it does not produce anything at all. Between 50% and 60% of patients with this variant develop a severe condition, requiring permanent care throughout their lives.

Hemophilia B

In this case, the patients have a deficiency in the production of the factor IX protein. Your body may make very little or no of this protein. Based on this, you will be diagnosed with a mild, moderate, or severe form of the condition.

It is important to note that neither in hemophilia A, nor in B, nor in the other types of hemophilia do patients bleed faster. They do it at the same speed as everyone else, only for a longer time. Coagulation factor IX is found on the X chromosome, so that, as explained in the previous case, men are more likely to develop it.

It is a rare condition, but no more dangerous than hemophilia A. In fact, according to researchers, patients tend to have a better long-term prognosis. This variant is sometimes known as christmas disease.

Hemophilia C

The different types of hemophilia are distinguished primarily by the protein that is defective, decreased, or absent.

As well pointed out by Stanford Health Care, some scientists distinguish a third type of hemophilia called hemophilia C. It is also known as rosenthal syndrome and researchers refer to it when describing deficiency in factor XI production.

Within the types of hemophilia it is the least frequent, and in general the cases are usually very mild. It differs from the others because it does not cause joint or muscle bleeding. It affects men and women equally, especially those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (in them the prevalence is around 8%).

Being aware of the types of hemophilia is one way to raise awareness of the disease. It is an incurable condition that requires the commitment of patients to reduce complications during their life. Everyone should be under the supervision of a specialist and know the plan of action in the event of a cut or internal bleeding.

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