Patterns of von Willebrand Disease Screening in Girls and Adolescents With Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the frequency of von Willebrand disease screening and factors that affect screening frequency in a national sample of girls and adolescents with heavy menstrual bleeding.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we used a national claims database for privately and publicly insured patients between 2011 and 2013 for girls aged 10–17 years. Diagnostic criteria of heavy menstrual bleeding were the presence of one inpatient or two outpatient International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision codes for heavy menstrual bleeding. We defined severe heavy menstrual bleeding as heavy menstrual bleeding plus an inpatient stay for menstrual bleeding, iron deficiency anemia, or blood transfusion. To assess whether patient- or facility-level characteristics affected screening, we performed logistic regression analysis including patient age, health care provider type seen at first visit for menorrhagia, patient residence in a metropolitan statistical area (proxy for urban vs rural inhabitance), and approximate travel time to the nearest hemophilia treatment center.

RESULTS: We identified 23,888 postpubertal girls and adolescents with heavy menstrual bleeding (986 with severe heavy menstrual bleeding). Von Willebrand disease screening was performed in 8% of females with heavy menstrual bleeding and 16% with severe heavy menstrual bleeding. Younger age at diagnosis, commercial insurance, and living within a metropolitan statistical area were associated with higher screening rates. Patients who underwent testing for iron deficiency anemia had the highest likelihood of undergoing screening (odds ratio 7.08, 95% CI 6.32–7.93). Among patients living in a metropolitan statistical area, those 60 minutes or more from a hemophilia treatment center were less likely to undergo screening.

CONCLUSION: Despite recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for more than 15 years, fewer than 20% of postpubertal girls and adolescents with heavy menstrual bleeding underwent screening for von Willebrand disease in this cohort. Increased clinician awareness and adherence to recommended screening recommendation

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