Researchers reported that patients with hemophilia were at a greater risk of developing depression compared to individuals without the disease, and published their findings in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Hemophilia causes lifelong, recurrent, and spontaneous bleeding episodes. This often leads to joint damage and causes severe functional limitations.

Hemophilia is a chronic illness with no permanent cure, hemophilia poses a significant disease burden on patients and their carers. Research has demonstrated that musculoskeletal disease can lead to psychological disorders, depending on the progress, repetition, and gravity of the acute musculoskeletal injury.


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The authors of the study sought to discover the extent that depression is a problem among patients with hemophilia. They recruited 100 patients from 2 hospitals in Spain between December 2019 and February 2020. The inclusion criteria were that participants had to be diagnosed with either hemophilia A or B by a hematologist.

Read more about hemophilia etiology 

The participants were asked general questions, such as their age, job status, and marital status. They were then asked more specific questions about their health, including musculoskeletal problems, obesity, and the clinical severity of hemophilia. The study’s authors then assessed the participants for any signs and symptoms of depression.

“The results of our study confirm that people with hemophilia presented with a ‘mild depression status’ (24%), contrasted to the healthy group without hemophilia (2%),” the authors said.

This confirms the hypothesis that patients with hemophilia are at a greater risk of developing depression. Hence, physicians should monitor psychiatric health during follow-ups with patients with hemophilia.

“Because hemophilia is a rare disease that requires a multidisciplinary approach to promote physical and psychological wellness, patients should be attended with comprehensive care at hemophilia treatment centers, including psychological evaluation and care,” the authors concluded.

Reference

Jiménez-Cebrián AM, Palomo-López P, Becerro-de-Bengoa Vallejo R, et al. Impact of depression on patients with hemophilia: a retrospective case-control researchFront Psychiatry. 2022;13:892321. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2022.892321