Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Factors that can make you or your child more prone to lactose intolerance include:
- Increasing age. Lactose intolerance becomes more common as you age — the condition is uncommon in babies and young children.
- Ethnicity. Lactose intolerance is most common in black, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian people.
- Premature birth. Infants born prematurely may have reduced levels of lactase because this enzyme increases in the fetus late in the third trimester.
- Diseases affecting the small intestine. Small intestine problems that can cause lactose intolerance include bacterial overgrowth, celiac disease and Crohn's disease.
- Certain cancer treatments. If you have received radiation therapy for cancer in your abdomen or have intestinal complications from chemotherapy, you have an increased risk of lactose intolerance.
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