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A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease. Although risk factors can influence the development of a disease, most do not directly cause the disease itself. Some people with several risk factors never develop amyloidosis, while others with no known risk factors do.
In most cases of amyloidosis, there are no known risk factors or causes. The following factors may raise a person's risk of developing amyloidosis:
Age. The risk of amyloidosis increases as a person gets older. For AL amyloidosis, the majority of people diagnosed are older than 40.
Gender. Amyloidosis is more common in men than women.
Other diseases. As explained in the Overview, amyloidosis is sometimes associated with the presence of another disease. For instance, research indicates that 12% to 15% of people with multiple myeloma also develop AL amyloidosis.
Family history. Hereditary amyloidosis can run in families, possibly due to a genetic mutation that is passed down from generation to generation.