A risk factor is a characteristic that can make someone more likely to develop a disease. Some risk factors like age and sex cannot be modified or lowered.
Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get this condition.
The cause of WM is unknown.
Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Risk Factors
- Age: The risk for developing Waldenstrom’s grows with age; most people diagnosed are over the age of 60.
- Sex: More men than women develop Waldenstrom’s.
- Race: Waldenstrom’s is more common in Caucasians.
- Having IgM MGUS
Having a condition called IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) may also increase your risk for developing Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.
In people with IgM MGUS, their bone marrow has abnormal lymphoplasmacytic cells and the IgM antibody is detectable in the blood, but they do not have symptoms or other abnormalities. The majority of people with MGUS will live with the condition without developing symptomatic WM.
There are no preventive recommendations for Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia at this time.