Amyloidosis: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 09/2021

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing this condition. Use the menu to see other pages.

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. 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 in women.

  • Other diseases. As explained in the Introduction, 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. This may be due to a genetic change, called a mutation, that is passed down from generation to generation.

The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what body changes or medical problems amyloidosis can cause. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.