Amyloidosis: Risk Factors

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 07/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about what factors increase the chance of developing this non-cancerous condition. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a disease. Although risk factors often 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.

Most people who develop amyloidosis have no known risk factors, and the cause is often not known. 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 linked with another disease. For instance, research shows 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 (change) that is passed down from generation to generation.

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