Testing Your Knowledge About Von Willebrand Disease

by : News Canada

(NC)-A survey conducted by Leger Marketing in February 2002 showed that Canadians are more likely to identify von Willebrand as a German car, an Austrian coat of arms, or a school of mathematics before it's true definition. Only seven per cent of Canadians chose the correct answer - the most common inherited bleeding disorder.

Take this quiz to test your own knowledge of von Willebrand Disease:

Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) affects only women. (True/False)

FALSE - VWD can be inherited from either parent and affects both males and females. Females may have more symptoms because of menstruation and childbirth.

Easy bruising is a symptom of VWD. (True/False)

TRUE - Easy bruising, frequent nosebleeds, heavy periods and prolonged bleeding after injury, surgery, childbirth or dental work are all symptoms of VWD.

Hemophilia is more common than VWD. (True/False)

FALSE - VWD is the most common bleeding disorder. Research shows that as many as 300,000 Canadians could have VWD. By comparison, only 2,400 people in Canada have hemophilia. Most people with VWD are not diagnosed because awareness of this bleeding disorder is low, even among physicians. In addition, many people with this condition assume it is "normal" to bleed a lot.

There is no cure for VWD.

TRUE - It is a lifelong condition. Fortunately, there are safe, effective treatments for all types of VWD, once you are diagnosed.

Routine blood tests can detect VWD.

FALSE - Diagnosing VWD is not easy. Routine blood tests do not provide enough information for a diagnosis. In fact, routine blood tests will often give normal results in people who have the bleeding disorder. Specialized blood tests have to be ordered by a hematologist.

To learn more about von Willebrand Disease, visit the Canadian Hemophilia Society Web site at www.hemophilia.ca or call the toll-free number at 1-800-668-2686.