Hodgkin's Disease Risk Factors

It is difficult to understand why one person develops Hodgkin’s disease and another does not. But research shows that certain risk factors increase the chance that a person will develop this disease.

Risk factors for Hodgkin’s disease include the following:

  • Certain viruses: Having an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may increase the risk of developing Hodgkin’s disease.
  • Weakened immune system: The risk of developing Hodgkin’s disease may be increased by having a weakened immune system (such as from an inherited condition or certain drugs used after an organ transplant).
  • Gender: Hodgkin’s disease occurs slightly more often in males than in females.
  • Age: Hodgkin’s disease is most common among teens and adults between the ages of 15 to 35, and adults 55 years and older.
  • Family history: Family members, especially siblings of a person with Hodgkin’s disease or other lymphomas, may have an increased chance of developing this disease.
  • Weakened immune system: People with HIV or AIDS have an increased risk of developing Hodgkin’s disease.