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5 interesting facts you didn't know about hemophilia

Hemophilia is a congenital disorder where the person suffering from it can bleed uncontrollably. This results from the lack of a clotting factor in their blood as a result of which the blood does not clot. In severe cases, it may cause internal bleeding that in turn can lead to death if untreated.In India, the incidence of haemophilia is nearly 1 in 5000 males. It has been postulated that in our country around 1300 children are born with haemophilia every year.

1. The royal disease: Hemophilia is often referred to as the royal disease because in the 19th and 20th centuries it was persistent in royal families across Europe. Queen Victoria of England is known to be the carrier of a rare form of this disease and passed the mutation to various royal houses across Europe through two out of her five daughters.

2. Affects more men than women: Hemophilia is an X-linked disorder which means the faulty gene lies on the X-chromosome. As men have an XY chromosome and women have an XX chromosome, men who have this faulty gene will acquire hemophilia. Women are less likely to have the condition because the second X-chromosome makes up for the faults.

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3. Women are carriers: Although it does not affect many women, they are the carriers of this disease. This means that a woman might get a faulty gene from her hemophilic father and she might pass it on to her son who will be hemophilic. Also, there are high chances that the daughter of this carrier woman is also a carrier.

4. There are two common types of hemophilia: Hemophilia type-A is caused by the lack of blood clotting factor VIII and makes up for a majority of cases. Hemophilia type-B is caused by the lack of factor IX. 20% of these type-B cases are not inherited and are due to spontaneous mutation.

5. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented: Unfortunately, scientists until now have not been able to find a cure for this disease. Also, as it is a congenital disease, it cannot be prevented.

Image source: Getty Images


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