Inherited bleeding disorders in older women


      Inherited bleeding disorders (IBDs) are by definition life-long. The commonest IBD is von Willebrand disease (VWD), a deficiency of von Willebrand factor (VWF), with a prevalence 1% in the general population and 13% in women with menorrhagia. Other IBDs include carriers of haemophilia A (factor VIII deficiency) and haemophilia B, (factor IX deficiency) and rare bleeding disorders (RBDs), deficiencies of factors XI, X, V, VII, II, I and inherited platelet disorders. Diagnosis is the synthesis of a bleeding history, family history and specialised laboratory tests. Women with IBDs are more likely to suffer HMB, to be symptomatic, and to present with bleeding in association with gynaecological problems. Heavy and/or abnormal menstrual bleeding increases with age due increased anovulatory cycles and gynaecological pathologies in older women. Thus, older women with IBDs are more likely to present with gynaecological bleeding symptoms, have impaired QOL and require surgical interventions. Treatment with specific clotting factor concentrates may be required and this requires an expert in haematology. Awareness of IBDs among health care providers, early diagnosis and appropriate management in a multidisciplinary approach is required to minimise the bleeding complications for women with IBDs.


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