Chronic pain and functional disability experienced by men with moderate and severe hemophilia can be significantly associated with their age, physical activity levels, and the age at which prophylaxis was initiated, a new study published in the European Journal of Haematology found.

The researchers suggest further studies are needed on lifestyle, pain relief, and therapeutic influences on pain and function in people with hemophilia, particularly in light of newly available therapies.

“This study aimed to provide an in depth analysis of the experience and prevalence of pain amongst Irish people with moderate and severe haemophilia,” the authors wrote.

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“Functional disability, analgesic requirements, demographic and lifestyle factors (age, treatment, body composition, joint health and [physical activity]) were examined, providing a comprehensive analysis of the complications resulting from [hemophilic arthropathy].”

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A total of 49 Irish men with moderate or severe hemophilia were included in the study. The Haemophilia Joint Health Score was used to assess joint health, and the Patient Reported Outcomes Burden and Experiences questionnaire was used to assess pain and the impact on activities of daily living and quality of life.

High rates of pain, both acute and chronic, and functional difficulties were reported, with significantly higher rates observed among older participants. In addition, not unexpectedly, older participants had significantly more advanced hemophilic arthropathy than younger participants.

Those who started prophylaxis later in life (median 32 years) had more chronic pain than those who commenced prophylaxis earlier (median 8 years), and those with functional difficulties reported participating in significantly less physical activity than those without such difficulties.

The authors recommend further investigation into the impact of age and lifestyle aspects, as well as analgesic regimens, on the health and well-being of people with hemophilia, particularly given that new treatments and therapies have become available during the lifetime of the adults in this study.


Kennedy M, O’ Mahony B, Roche S, et al. Pain and functional disability amongst ddults with moderate and severe haemophilia from the Irish personalised approach to the treatment of haemophilia (iPATH) study. Eur J Haematol. Published online March 8, 2022. doi:10.1111/ejh.13763