Factors that may increase your risk of developing hypochondria include:

  • Having a serious illness during childhood
  • Knowing family members or others with a serious disease
  • The death of a loved one
  • Having an anxiety disorder
  • Believing good health means that you are free of all physical symptoms or unusual bodily sensations
  • Having close family members with hypochondria
  • Feeling especially vulnerable to illness or disease
  • Having parents who were neglectful or abusive

Hypochondria occurs about equally in men and women. It can develop at any age, even in children, but it most often starts in early adulthood.

Nov. 23, 2010