A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop Hodgkin’s disease with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing Hodgkin’s disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors for Hodgkin's disease include:

Medical Conditions

Immunodeficiency or autoimmune disorders, including the presence of HIV, increase your risk of Hodgkin’s disease.

Infections

Hodgkin’s disease seems to occur more often in people who have been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (the cause of mononucleosis ) or HIV.

Age

Hodgkin’s disease seems to occur more often in people between the ages of 15-40 and over age 55. Peaks occur at age 20 and age 70.

Gender

Slightly more males than females are diagnosed each year.

Genetic factors

Having a close relative with Hodgkin’s lymphoma increases your chances of developing the disease. If your parent, child, or sibling has Hodgkin’s disease, your risk is increased threefold. If a younger brother or sister has Hodgkin’s disease, your risk is increased sevenfold.

Ethnic Background

People of European descent are more likely to develop Hodgkin’s disease than people of other ethnic groups.