Practice Question # 769.
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Two inherited bleeding disorders—hemophilia A and hemophilia B—are clinically indistinguishable, although they can be distinguished by laboratory tests. Hemophilia A is caused by a genetic defect that results in deficient or defective factor VIII; hemophilia B (also called Christmas disease) stems from a genetic defect that causes deficient or defective factor IX. Hemophilia is a relatively rare disease; hemophilia A, which occurs in 1 of every 10,000 births, is three times more common than hemophilia B.
Both types of hemophilia are inherited as X-linked traits, so almost all affected people are males; females can be carriers but are almost always asymptomatic. The disease is recognized in early childhood, usually in the toddler age group. However, patients with mild hemophilia may not be diagnosed until they experience severe trauma (eg, a high-school football injury) or surgery. Hemophilia occurs in all ethnic groups.