Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Physical condition, longevity, and social performance of Dutch haemophiliacs, 1972-85.

British Medical Journal 1989; 298 doi: (Published 28 January 1989) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1989;298:235
  1. C. Smit,
  2. F. R. Rosendaal,
  3. I. Varekamp,
  4. A. Bröcker-Vriends,
  5. H. Van Dijck,
  6. T. P. Suurmeijer,
  7. E. Briët
  1. Department of Haematology, University Hospital Leiden, The Netherlands.


    A study was carried out among haemophiliacs in The Netherlands to evaluate the effect of modern substitution treatment (replacing the missing clotting factors) on medical and social performance. Three questionnaires were sent between 1972 and 1985. The use of prophylactic treatment in the group of patients with severe and moderately severe haemophilia increased from 21% (n = 242) in 1972 to 36% (n = 559) in 1985. Home treatment programmes increased from 4% to 53%. Overall mortality was 2.1 times higher than in the general male population, which leads to a calculated life expectancy of 66 years compared with 74 years in the general male population. Severe joint impairment was prominent in the older age groups, reflecting insufficient treatment in the past. A sharp decrease in the use of inpatient and outpatient hospital facilities was observed as well as much less absence from school and work. It is concluded that the high costs of modern substitution treatment are fully justified.