Although a number of studies have analysed so far the causes of death and the life expectancy in haemophilic populations, no investigations have been conducted among Italian haemophilia centres. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate mortality, causes of deaths, life expectancy and co-morbidities in Italian persons with haemophilia (PWH). Data pertaining to a total of 443 PWH who died between 1980 and 2007 were retrospectively collected in the 30 centres who are members of the Italian Association of Haemophilia Centres that chose to participate. The mortality rate ratio standardized to the male Italian population (SMR) was reduced during the periods 1990-1999 and 2000-2007 such that during the latter, death rate overlapped that of the general population (SMR 1990-1999: 1.98 95% CI 1.54-2.51; SMR 2000-2007: 1.08 95% CI 0.83-1.40). Similarly, life expectancy in the whole haemophilic population increased in the same period (71.2 years in 2000-2007 vs. 64.0 in 1990-1999), approaching that of the general male population. While human immunodeficiency virus infection was the main cause of death (45%), 13% of deaths were caused by hepatitis C-associated complications. The results of this retrospective study show that in Italian PWH improvements in the quality of treatment and global medical care provided by specialized haemophilia centres resulted in a significantly increased life expectancy.
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