Christmas is coming. So what is 'Christmas disease'?
01 December 2021
Healthy Pilipinas

Do you know that there is something called ‘Christmas disease’?

Technically speaking, it is known as Hemophilia B. Hemophilia is a genetic and usually hereditary blood disorder in which the blood lacks certain components that are needed for clotting. Thus, people who have hemophilia are prone to spontaneous bleeding episodes or easily bleed in cases where normal people would not normally bleed, such as minor injuries or dental cuts.

There are two types of hemophilia, A and B. Hemophilia B is the rarer type and is four times less common than A. In hemophilia B, the blood lacks the clotting particle known as Factor IX. Diagnosis requires laboratory tests at specialty centers.

But back to the name—why is hemophilia B called Christmas disease? It actually has nothing to do with the holiday season at all. Rather, it is because the disease was first officially documented in 1952 by British doctors—in a patient named Stephen Christmas!