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-- Common Questions About Bleeding Disorders
  What's a Bleeding Disorder?
  Do I Have a Bleeding Disorder?
  What's von Willebrand Disease?
  Can Women and Girls Have Hemophilia?
  More Information on von Willebrand Disease
  I Think I Have a Bleeding Disorder


   NHF > Project Red Flag > Common Questions > More Information on von Willebrand Disease

Common Questions About Bleeding Disorders

More Information on von Willebrand Disease

Can you be more specific on how one gets von Willebrand Disease?

von Willebrand disease is usually inherited from one parent who has an abnormal von Willebrand factor gene. The abnormal gene is located on a chromosome called an autosomal chromosome or an autosome, rather than a sex-linked (X) chromosome. Therefore, both men and women may pass the VWD gene to their offspring. A parent with von Willebrand

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disease has a 50% chance of passing the disease to each of his or her children, male or female. VWD also can occur in families with no known family history of the disorder. Individuals whose VWD is the result of such a mutation may also pass the disease to their children.

What is von Willebrand factor?

von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a clotting protein produced in the cells that line blood vessels. VWF is composed of small chains that combine to form larger chains called multimers that help the blood to clot. VWF has two functions in the clotting process: 1) acting as a bridge between platelets and a site of injury so that blood can clot in the right place and 2) to protect factor VIII, an essential protein in blood clotting.






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