Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Factors that may increase your risk of myelodysplastic syndromes include:
- Older age. Most people with myelodysplastic syndromes are adults older than 60.
- Being male. Myelodysplastic syndromes occur more frequently in men than in women.
- Treatment with chemotherapy or radiation. Your risk of myelodysplastic syndromes is increased if you received chemotherapy or radiation, both of which are commonly used to treat cancer.
- Exposure to certain chemicals. Chemicals linked to myelodysplastic syndromes include tobacco smoke, pesticides and industrial chemicals, such as benzene.
- Exposure to heavy metals. Heavy metals linked to myelodysplastic syndromes include lead and mercury.
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- Foran JM, et al. Myelodysplastic syndromes. In: Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:2235.
- DeAngelo DJ, et al. Myelodysplastic syndromes: Biology and treatment. In: Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06715-0..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06715-0&uniqId=230100505-56. Accessed Oct. 7, 2011.