Risk Factors

For most people who have Hodgkin lymphoma, there are no obvious reasons (risk factors) why they developed the disease. The results of certain studies about the causes of Hodgkin lymphoma aren’t definitive:

  • Many studies of links between Hodgkin lymphoma and environmental exposures have been conducted with unclear results.
  • Although Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with nearly half of Hodgkin lymphoma cases, EBV hasn’t been conclusively established as a cause.
  • Most cases of Hodgkin lymphoma occur in people who don’t have identifiable risk factors.
  • Most people with identifiable risk factors don’t develop Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Patients who have a history . . . . . . of a blood test confirming mononucleosis have a 3-fold increased risk of HL compared to the general population.
  • People infected with human T-cell lymphocytotropic virus (HTLV) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) also have increased probability of developing HL.
  • Experts have found that, occasionally, siblings of people with Hodgkin lymphoma tend to have higher rates of the disease than those people with brothers and sisters who don’t have the disease. Although the link isn’t common, scientists are studying why lymphoma is more common in some families than in others.
  • You can not catch the disease from someone else.

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