5 Factors That Could Increase Your Autoimmune Disease Risk

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by Wendy Henderson |

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It’s estimated that around 24 million people in American suffer from one autoimmune disease or another (often more than one). While the exact cause for most autoimmune diseases is unknown, there are certain aspects which may increase your risk of developing an autoimmune condition.

We’ve listed five risk factors that are most associated with autoimmune diseases with help from prevention.com.

Family History

If a close member of your family has an autoimmune disease like lupus or multiple sclerosis, then this increases your risk of also developing one. You may not necessarily develop the same autoimmune disease as your mother or grandfather, but you will be at a higher risk of developing one of the hundreds of different autoimmune diseases.

Your Partner Has Celiac Disease

This may seem strange that your partner’s problem with gluten could somehow affect your immune system, but it’s likely that you may both have been exposed to the same environmental factors which could trigger both celiac disease and an autoimmune disease.

MORE: Six remarkable things to know about people living with a chronic illness.

Being Female

Women are more likely to develop an autoimmune disease than men. Autoimmune diseases will often strike at a young age and during a woman’s childbearing years, which could be linked to hormones.


Some autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop in women of color than white women. They also tend to present signs of the disease at an earlier age and suffer worse symptoms.

You Already Have An Autoimmune Disease

If you already have an autoimmune disease such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis then sadly, you are more likely to develop one or two more autoimmune diseases. People who have three or more autoimmune diseases are classified as having multiple autoimmune syndrome.

MORE: Twelve things to care for when you have scleroderma.

Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.