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Hemophilia Life Expectancy Still 3-15 Years Lower

Data for British patients not infected with HIV

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Despite advances in treatment, British hemophiliacs who are not infected with HIV have a current median life expectancy that is still 3 to 15 years lower than in the general population, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of Blood.

Sarah C. Darby, Ph.D., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined mortality rates and causes of death in 6,018 individuals in the United Kingdom with hemophilia A or B who were not infected with HIV. Data were obtained from 1977 to 1998, and patients were followed until 2000.

The researchers found that for severe hemophilia, all-cause mortality was similar from 1977-1999, but was lower than the general population, with a median life expectancy of 63 years. For mild or moderate hemophilia, all-cause mortality was similar from 1985-1999, with a median life expectancy of 75 years. Hemophiliacs had higher rates of death from bleeding and its consequences, liver diseases, and Hodgkin's disease, lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, and similar rates of death from 14 other specific causes.

The study "will form a useful baseline with which future mortality patterns in hemophilia populations can be compared, thus obtaining a quantitative measure of the effect of innovations in hemophilia care on mortality," Darby and colleagues concluded.

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