Investigators from the Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania (HCWP) recently looked at the effect of aging on von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels in patients with type 1 von Willebrand disease (VWD). The authors of the article were Craig D. Seaman, MD, MS and Margaret V. Ragni, MD, MPH. Seaman is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology at HCWP. Ragni is Professor of Medicine and Clinical Translational Science, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is also the Director of HCWP.
The review included 39 patients (32 female, 7 male) with type 1 VWD with regularly scheduled clinic visits between February 2016 and January 2017. The mean age of patient participants was 41.8 years. Eighteen patients were 45 years of age or older, including 7 who were 60 years or older. 34% of female participants were taking hormonal therapy. After data analysis, it was determined that aging was associated with a decrease in bleeding symptoms in type 1 VWD patients. They did not however establish a link between aging and increased VWF levels. Ragni and Seaman recognized that this conclusion runs up against previous studies suggesting that despite increasing VWF levels, bleeding symptoms do not decrease in aging type 1 VWD patients. The authors sought to account for the disparate findings.
The article, “The Association of Aging with von Willebrand Factor Levels and Bleeding Risk in Type 1 Von Willebrand Disease,” was published April 1, 2018 in Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis.