Hemophilia A and B are the first and second most common types of hemophilia, respectively. Both conditions cause problems with blood clotting.
The treatment and outlook for hemophilia A and B are similar. Usually, treatment involves receiving injections to replace the missing protein in your blood.
Read on to learn about the similarities and differences between these two conditions.
Why is hemophilia B called Christmas disease?
Hemophilia B is also called Christmas disease because it was
|Hemophilia A||Hemophilia B|
|Genetic cause||Mutation in F8 gene||Mutation in F9 gene|
|Missing protein in blood||Blood clotting factor VIII||Blood clotting factor IX|
Hemophilia A and B are distinct forms of hemophilia caused by different genetic mutations.
People with hemophilia A have a mutation in their F8 gene, which leads to the underproduction of blood clotting factor VIII. People with hemophilia B have a mutation in their F9 gene and underproduce blood clotting factor IX.
Is hemophilia A or B more severe?
There’s a limited amount of research directly comparing the severity of hemophilia A or B.
Some research suggests there’s no significant difference in the severity of the two diseases.
Hemophilia A and B versus Von Willebrand disease
Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is another condition that causes improper blood clotting. VWD is
Unlike hemophilia, VWD occurs evenly in men and women. It’s less likely to cause bleeding in your joints and more likely to cause:
- easy bruising
- heavy menstruation
Learn more about von Willebrand disease.
Family history is the top risk factor for developing hemophilia A or B. It’s also possible to develop either condition spontaneously without a family history.
Hemophilia A and B are much more common in males than females due to the gene mutations occurring on the X chromosome. Females need to receive the abnormal gene from both parents to develop hemophilia, whereas males only need to receive it from one parent.
Hemophilia in females
Hemophilia can develop in females or people assigned female at birth, but it’s much rarer and usually milder.
According to the
Symptoms are the same between hemophilia A and B but vary depending on the severity of your disease.
|Severity||Blood clotting factor VIII or IX levels|
|Mild||between 5–40% of normal|
|Moderate||1–5% of normal|
|Severe||less than 1% of normal|
Symptoms can include:
- frequent or severe nosebleeds
- blood in urine or stool
- easy bleeding or bruising, even with minor injury
- frequent or severe bleeding of the gums or mouth
- bleeding in joints or muscles
People with severe disease might have:
People with hemophilia A usually receive regular infusions of blood factor clotting protein VIII injected into their bloodstream over about an hour.
This protein is sourced from recombinant products made in a laboratory or from animal or human blood. Recombinant products are usually favored because they don’t have a risk of transmitting bloodborne viruses.
People with mild to moderate hemophilia may only need replacement therapy to treat specific bleeding. People with severe hemophilia need prophylactic injections regularly to prevent complications.
Treatment for hemophilia B is the same but involves injecting blood clotting protein IX instead of VIII.
Gene therapy is a newer treatment option. It can potentially cure hemophilia with a one-time injection, but it’s currently very expensive.
The current price of gene therapy for hemophilia B is
The outlook for hemophilia A and B varies widely depending on the level of blood clotting factor you have. Life expectancies continue to improve as treatments become more accessible.
Hemophilia A and B are both genetic conditions that interfere with your blood’s ability to clot. Although they’re caused by different gene mutations, their symptoms are similar.
The treatment and outlook for hemophilia varies significantly based on the severity of your disease. Many people are able to live full lives with proper treatment.