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Hyperparathyroidism Causes & Risks


In most cases, the exact cause is not known. Factors that may contribute to hyperparathyroidism include:

  • Adenoma (benign tumor) in the parathyroid gland (accounting for 85% of primary hyperparathyroidism)
  • Hyperplasia (enlargement) of the parathyroid glands (accounting for over 80% of secondary or tertiary hyperparathyroidism)
  • Parathyroid cancer
  • Familial hyperparathyroidism
  • Vitamin D deficiency (due to malabsorption, lack of sunlight exposure, inadequate dietary intake)
  • Radiation therapy to head or neck during childhood
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN)
  • Kidney failure or other medical problems that make the body resistant to the action of the parathyroid hormone (called secondary hyperparathyroidism)

Risk Factors

The following factors increase your chance of developing hyperparathyroidism:

  • Sex: female (hyperparathyroidism is three times more common in women, especially after menopause )
  • Age: older than 60 years
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (an inherited disorder that affects the endocrine glands)
  • Genetics that make you more likely to have hyperparathyroidism

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