Why Are more Males Afflicted with Hemophilia than Females
Hemophilia or haemophilia is a genetic disorder that does not allow blood to clot. This will usually cause spontaneous bleeding in a person affected by it. You may know of someone affected by this condition or have it yourself and, as you may have heard, there are more men than women that have this disease. If you are precisely asking yourself why more males are afflicted with hemophilia than females, keep on reading this OneHowTo article to find out about the reasons behind this fact.
What is hemophilia and how is it transmitted?
Hemophilia is a disease which is characterized by a disorder in the blood which causes the patient to have difficulties when clotting. This means that a hemophiliac will bleed more than a usual person when injured both externally and internally, thus making internal bleeding a risk to the person's health.
There are two types of hemophilia, which are caused by a totally different mutation of the X gene:
- Hemophilia A: It's the rarest, as only one out of every ten thousand people are born with this condition. It is characterized by a person that does not have enough factor eight, thus causing the blood not to clot properly when the body bleeds
- Hemophilia B: This means that the person has not created enough factor nine.
Both conditions have the same symptoms: more bleeding than an average person. The seriousness of this disease will depend on the amount of factors that a hemophiliac has in their blood. Hemophilia is transmitted through x-linked inheritance, which means that it is a recession allele that is found only in X chromosomes which causes hemophilia. Therefore it is an inherited disease.
However, men and women can also develop acquired hemophilia, especially from the 40s onward. Women who have given birth or during their last trimester of pregnancy can also develop. This is due to a development of antibodies that destroys its own defenses, though acquired hemophilia can be treated and cured.
Why are more males afflicted with hemophilia than females?
As we've said, this disease is caused by a recessive allele that is found only on the x chromosome, which precisely is why males have more chances to inherit it, as men have one x chromosome whereas women have two. Therefore, a woman will need two recessive alleles instead of just one like men in order to inherit this disease. On the other hand, if a woman has just one recessive allele, then she will not have hemophilia but will be a carrier, which means her children will still have chances of inheriting this disease.
Women are more prone to having hemophilia only when the father already has hemophilia and the mother doesn't but is a carrier of this recessive allele.
If a pregnant woman knows she is a carrier of this disease, it is advised for her to pay a visit to the obstetrician so she can get an early diagnosis.
How to treat hemophilia
Depending on the amount of times a person bleeds per week, he or she will need certain treatment or another, this is why it's important for a hemophiliac to consult a doctor to know what specific treatment he or she needs. Even though there are some common sense guidelines for those affected by this disease:
- Practice sport: Though many people afflicted by this disease avoid doing sport as they fear injury, studies have shown that building muscle can protect from spontaneous bleeding and can also protect the joints if bleeding occurs.
- Do not take aspirin: You must have heard that aspirin makes blood thinner, as it is made of acidacetylsalicyclic acid. This is precisely the reason why it will worsen a hemophiliac's condition if taken.
There is no cure for hemophilia, though some investigations with gene therapy are currently studying possible cures. A liver transplant is an option though the amount of risk in this operation makes it inadvisable. However, if treated properly, a person with hemophilia can lead a normal life and have a normal life expectancy.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Why Are more Males Afflicted with Hemophilia than Females, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.