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What Causes von Willebrand Disease?

Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is almost always inherited. "Inherited" means that the disorder is passed from parents to children though genes.  

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 get VWD later in life as a result of other medical conditions. This type of VWD is called acquired von Willebrand syndrome.

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June 01, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.