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Hemophilia growth and development study. Design, methods, and entry data


PURPOSE: The study design, research questions, and baseline data are presented from a multicenter longitudinal epidemiologic investigation of the impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on three areas of functioning in children and adolescents with hemophilia: physical growth and sexual maturation, immune function, and neurological and neuropsychological functioning.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-nine percent (n = 333) of a population of males between the ages of 6 and 19 years with moderate to severe hemophilia participated in a comprehensive baseline examination.

Approximately 62% of the study group was HIV seropositive and 38% HIV seronegative.

RESULTS: Adjusted for age, HIV-positive participants were three times as likely as HIV-negative participants to exhibit declines in height-for-age attainment (p = 0.05), twice as likely to have delays in sexual maturation (p = 0.414), and more than three times as likely to exhibit antibody levels that were not indicative of prior exposure or vaccination (p < 0.001). In addition, analysis of a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests showed that HIV-positive participants were 50% more likely to show scores approximately 1 SD below expected levels in three of nine functional areas (p = NS) compared with HIV-negative participants.

CONCLUSIONS: Entry data for this study reveal a greater likelihood for HIV-positive children and adolescents with moderate to severe hemophilia to have abnormal growth, and to exhibit antibody levels not indicative of prior exposure to disease or vaccination, which could be attributed to HIV infection. Lowered neuropsychological test performance in both groups may be attributable to the deleterious effects of chronic illness. Data are being collected from a group of non-HIV infected non-hemophiliac siblings for comparison.

Hilgartner MW, Donfield SM, Willoughby A, Contant CF, Evatt BL, Gomperts ED, Hoots WK, Jason J, Loveland KA, McKinlay SM

Am J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 1993 May;15(2):208-18

PMID: 8498644