Patients with moderate to severe hemophilia demonstrated lower rates of physical activity and physical fitness, and higher rates of abdominal adiposity, compared with patients without hemophilia, according to the results of a study published in the journal Haemophilia.

“In order to address the health needs of the ageing haemophilia population, the physical health profile of patients with moderate to severe hemophilia warrants investigation to inform the design of health interventions for this population,” the authors wrote. The aim of the study was to characterize physical activity, fitness, and cardiometabolic risk in among patients with moderate to severe hemophilia.

The cross-sectional, observational study evaluated data from 53 patients with moderate to severe hemophilia and 33 volunteers without hemophilia as controls.

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Although there was no difference in light physical activity, patients with hemophilia participated in less moderate to vigorous physical activity, at a median of 196.5 and 0 minutes per week, respectively, compared with 256.0 (P =.020) and 24.5 minutes/week (P <.0005) among controls.

Patients with hemophilia were also less physically fit. The distance achieved during the 6-minute walk distance was a median of 575.9 meters compared with 654.4 meters in the hemophilia vs the control group, respectively (P <.0005). Grip strength in the right hand was lower at a median of 40.2 kg in the hemophilia group compared with 45.7 kg in the control group (P =.04). Balance was not satisfactory among 35.3% of patients with hemophilia compared with 3.0% of controls (P <.0005).

Waist circumference was larger among patients with hemophilia, as 54.7% had a waist circumference greater than 94 cm compared with 27.3% of controls (P <.015). Waist-to-hip ratio (P =.002) and waist-to-height ratio (P =.003) were also more likely to be higher among patients with hemophilia. Body mass index and percent fat mass were similar between the groups.

There was no significant difference in resting blood pressure, arterial stiffness, insulin resistance, or hyperlipidemia. There were more patients with hypertension in the hemophilia group compared with the control group (22.6% vs 6.1%), but this did not reach statistical significance (P =.069).

The authors concluded that “low levels of physical activity and physical fitness, and significant rates of abdominal adiposity and hypertension, many collectively influence the risk and severity of various cardiometabolic and/or musculoskeletal health issues amongst ageing patients with moderate to severe hemophilia.”

Disclosures: Some of the study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Kennedy M, Roche S, McGowan M, et al. Physical activity, physical fitness and cardiometabolic risk amongst adults with moderate and severe haemophilia. Haemophilia. Published online October 4, 2022. doi: 10.1111/hae.14653