Although anyone can develop Graves' disease, a number of factors can increase the risk of disease. These risk factors include the following:
Jul. 01, 2014
- Family history. Because a family history of Graves' disease is a known risk factor, there is likely a gene or genes that can make a person more susceptible to the disorder.
- Gender. Women are much more likely to develop Graves' disease than are men.
- Age. Graves' disease usually develops in people younger than 40.
- Other autoimmune disorders. People with other disorders of the immune system, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, have an increased risk.
- Emotional or physical stress. Stressful life events or illness may act as a trigger for the onset of Graves' disease among people who are genetically susceptible.
- Pregnancy. Pregnancy or recent childbirth may increase the risk of the disorder, particularly among women who are genetically susceptible.
- Smoking. Cigarette smoking, which can affect the immune system, increases the risk of Graves' disease. Smokers who have Graves' disease are also at increased risk of developing Graves' ophthalmopathy.
- Bartalena L. Diagnosis and management of Graves disease: A global overview. Nature Reviews Endocrinology. 2013;9:724.
- Graves' disease. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/graves/index.aspx. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Falgarone G, et al. Role of emotional stress in the pathophysiology of Graves' disease. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2013;168:R13.
- Ross DS. Treatment of Graves' hyperthyroidism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2014.
- Genovese BM, et al. What is the best definitive treatment for Graves' disease? A systematic review of the existing literature. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2013;20:660.
- Mayo CH. The surgical treatment of goiter. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 1904;XLII:1059.
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