Prevalence and impact of obesity in people with haemophilia: Review of literature and expert discussion around implementing weight management guidelines

S. Kahan, A. Cuker, R. F. Kushner, J. Maahs, M. Recht, T. Wadden, T. Willis, S. Majumdar, D. Ungar, D. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Obesity affects more than 35% of Americans, increasing the risk of more than 200 comorbid conditions, impaired quality of life and premature mortality. This review aimed to summarize literature published over the past 15 years regarding the prevalence and impact of obesity in people with haemophilia (PWH) and to discuss implementing general guidelines for weight management in the context of the haemophilia comprehensive care team. Although few studies have assessed the effects of obesity on haemophilia-specific outcomes, existing evidence indicates an important impact of weight status on lower extremity joint range of motion and functional disability, with potentially important effects on overall quality of life. Data regarding bleeding tendency in PWH with coexisting obesity are largely inconclusive; however, some individuals may experience reduced joint bleeds following moderate weight loss. Additionally, conventional weight-based dosing of factor replacement therapy leads to increased treatment costs for PWH with obesity or overweight, suggesting pharmacoeconomic benefits of weight loss. Evidence-based recommendations for weight loss include behavioural strategies to reduce caloric intake and increase physical activity, pharmacotherapy and surgical therapy in appropriate patients. Unique considerations in PWH include bleed-related risks with physical activity; thus, healthcare professionals should advise patients on types and intensities of, and approaches to, physical activity, how to adjust treatment to accommodate exercise and how to manage potential activity-related bleeding. Increasing awareness of these issues may improve identification of PWH with coexisting obesity and referral to appropriate specialists, with potentially wide-ranging benefits in overall health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-820
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • comorbidities
  • haemophilia
  • health behaviour changer
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence and impact of obesity in people with haemophilia: Review of literature and expert discussion around implementing weight management guidelines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this