About Hemophilia Inheritance

Hemophilia inheritance is one of the most important causes of hemophilia and that has been discussed below. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Out of which, one pair of chromosome is responsible for determining the sex of an individual, these are called sex chromosomes. While men have a combination of XY chromosomes, females are XX. Patients suffering from hemophilia have a faulty X- chromosome this can be inherited from either parents or can be the caused due a new mutation. Since women have two X-chromosomes, chances of them being haemophilic are greatly reduced since there is always an alternate X chromosome to counter the defective one

If the parents are haemophiliacs or carriers of the altered gene it is generally easier to trace the hemophilia inheritance in the child as it would generally run down the family. Ascertaining hemophilia in a child can be done as soon as he is born by taking samples of blood from the umbilical cord to check the count of the clotting factor VIII. However, tests for hemophilia B can only be done when the child is six months or older. Post six months, blood sample is checked for factor IX which determines whether the child is suffering from hemophilia B.

Hemophilia A is an X-linked recessive trait. This means that for the disorder to surface in a child, both the X chromosomes of a girl child has to carry the trait. On the other hand for a boy child to have the disorder, he must inherit the defective X chromosome from either parent, since men have only one X chromosome.

The Jews in the 2nd century AD also acknowledged the hemophilia inheritance, in their codified writings. The writings acknowledge hemophilia as a hereditary disorder passed to the children by their mother. They state that if the previous two sons of a woman have died during circumcision, the third child would not have to be circumcised. The child can be from the same father or from a different marriage association. The death during circumcision is known to have resulted due to excessive bleeding. The child would also be exempted from the circumcision if any of his maternal cousins have suffered death during circumcision as well. Hemophilia has been recognized as a female bleeding disorder here, where the mother is responsible for the ailment in the child. Nowhere do the writings exempt the child from circumcision if any maternal uncle or his children have dies during the same.

Hemophilia inheritance has also been acknowledged by ancient scholars like Albucasis of the tenth century, whose works speak of a family, whose men died of bleeding as a result of minor injuries.

Hemophilia has earned its name as the Royal disease due to its inherent nature. Hemophilia inheritance led to the spread of the disease in many royal houses of Europe. Queen Victoria has been traced to be the carrier of the defected chromosome of hemophilia b which was later passed down to two of her daughters. These daughters, Alice and Beatrice were married into the royal houses of Spain and Russia. This led to widespread hemophilia b in the European royalty and led to the death of many heirs.

Symptoms of hemophilia would include bleeding spontaneously and profusely for a prolonged period of time. Soft tissues and areas with thin fibrin are more prone to such bleeds and allow easy injuries.  Bleeding in joints, followed by an inflammation is another sign of hemophilia. Such internal haemorrhages can lead to permanent deformities. Site of an internal haemorrhage can be anywhere from the urinary tract, to knee joins and intestine. Due to such fatal nature of the disease, a doctor should be immediate consulted as soon as the symptoms are noticed.

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