How do you get VWD?
VWD is usually inherited. It is passed down through the genes from either parent to a child of either sex. Sometimes, there is evidence of a family history of bleeding problems, but the symptoms of VWD can vary a lot within a family. Sometimes VWD occurs due to a spontaneous change in the VWD gene before the baby is born.
Inheritance of von Willebrand disease
VWD Types 1 and 2 are usually inherited in what is known as a "dominant" pattern. This means that a parent who has VWD has a one in two (50%) chance of passing a VWD gene on to each of his or her children.
Type 3 VWD, however, is usually inherited in a "recessive" pattern. This type occurs when the child inherits the gene from both parents. Even if both parents have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, their children may be severely affected.
Updated May 2012