There is no known cause of multiple myeloma, although there are certain factors that make a person more likely to have this disease, such as age, sex, race, obesity, and the presence of other plasma cell disorders.
Age: Growing older increases the chances of developing multiple myeloma. Only 5-10% of myeloma cases are diagnosed in people under 40. Two-thirds of people diagnosed with myeloma are over the age of 65. Multiple myeloma is rare in children, teens, and young adults.
Sex: Men are 50% more likely to develop multiple myeloma than women.
Race: Myeloma is twice as common in African Americans as in Caucasians. The risk of developing multiple myeloma is lowest among Asian Americans.
Obesity: If a person is overweight or obese, he or she is at increased risk of developing multiple myeloma.
Other plasma cell disorders: Some people with MGUS (Monoclonal Gammopathy of Unknown Significance) and with solitary plasmacytoma can eventually develop multiple myeloma.
- Meet the Experts: An Update on Myeloma and Amyloidosis
- Dr. Zangari's publications on multiple myeloma
- Fight Myeloma Podcast
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