- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Christmas disease

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A form of haemophilia caused by deficiency of Christmas’ factor. It is a disturbance of coagulation that may easily be confused with classical heamophilia, with which it is clinically almost identical. The condition was described in 1952 by Biggs, Douglas, Macfarlane et al. at Oxford. It has not been named for Santa Claus, but for Stephen Christmas, a five year old British boy who was the first patient in whom this was recognized to be different from classical haemophilia. Incidence: 1/40,000 (15-20% of haemophilias). The condition is transmitted as a sex-linked recessive trait through female carriers. Prevalent in males.

We thank John Cohen for information submitted.


  • R. A. Biggs, A. S. Douglas, R. G. MacFarlane, J. V. Dacie, W. R. Pittney, C. Merskey and J. R. O’Brien:
    Christmas disease: a condition previously mistaken for haemophilia.
    British Medical Journal, London, 1952, 2: 1378-1382.

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