Von Willebrand refers to a medical condition that can lead to extended or excessive bleeding. The condition is often inherited, though in rare cases, it can develop later in life as well. The reason why Von Willebrand develops is said to be a deficiency in or the impairment of a protein called von Willebrand factors, which is an important component in the process of blood-clotting. People with this disease take longer to form clots and stop bleeding when they have been cut.
Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is almost always inherited. You can inherit type 1 or type 2 VWD if only one of your parents passes the gene on to you. You usually inherit type 3 VWD only if both of your parents pass the gene on to you. Your symptoms may be different from your parents' symptoms.
Some people have the genes for the disorder but don't have symptoms. However, they still can pass the genes on to their children. Some people develop a form of VWD later in life as a result of other medical conditions. This form of VWD is called acquired von Willebrand syndrome.
VWD is more common and usually milder than hemophilia. In fact, VWD is the most common of all the inherited bleeding disorders. VWD affects both males and females, while hemophilia mainly affects males.
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