The following are risk factors for Hodgkin's lymphoma:
- Age - People between the ages of 15 and 40, as well as those older than 55.
- Family history - Anyone with a brother or a sister who has the disease faces an increased risk of developing Hodgkin's lymphoma, though this may be due to similar environmental exposures rather than genetic factors.
- Sex - Males are at higher risk.
- Past Epstein-Barr infection - People who have had illnesses caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, such as infectious mononucleosis, are more likely to develop Hodgkin's lymphoma than are people who haven't had these Epstein-Barr infections.
- Compromised immune system - Having a compromised immune system, such as from HIV/AIDS or from having an organ transplant requiring medications to suppress your immune response.
- Geography - Hodgkin's lymphoma is most prevalent in the United States, Canada and northern Europe. It's least common in Asian countries.
- Socioeconomic status - It is more common in people with higher socioeconomic background.
The following are risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma:
- Medications that suppress your immune system - If you've had an organ transplant, you're more susceptible because immunosuppressive therapy has reduced your body's ability to fight off new illnesses.
- Infection with certain viruses and bacteria - Viruses linked to increased non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk include HIV, hepatitis C virus and Epstein-Barr virus. Bacteria linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include the ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori.
- Chemicals - Certain chemicals, such as those used to kill insects and weeds, may increase your risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Older age - The risk increases with age. It's most common in people in their 60s or older.