Although the cause of myelofibrosis often isn't known, certain factors are known to increase your risk:

  • Age. Myelofibrosis can affect anyone, but it's most often diagnosed in people in their 50s and 60s.
  • Another blood cell disorder. A small portion of people with myelofibrosis develop the condition as a complication of essential thrombocythemia or polycythemia vera.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals. Myelofibrosis has been linked to exposure to industrial chemicals such as toluene and benzene.
  • Exposure to radiation. People exposed to high levels of radiation, such as survivors of atomic bomb attacks, have an increased risk of myelofibrosis. Some people who received a radioactive contrast material called Thorotrast, used from the 1920s to the 1950s, have developed myelofibrosis.
Mar. 25, 2014