Who is likely to develop Graves' disease?

Scientists don't know exactly why some people develop Graves' disease, but they believe that factors such as age, sex, heredity, and emotional and environmental stress are involved.

Graves' disease usually occurs in people younger than the age of 40 and is 5-10 times more common in women than men. An individual's chance of developing Graves' disease increases if other family members have it.

Researchers have not been able to find a specific gene that causes the disease to be passed from one generation to the next. Scientists know that some people inherit an immune system that can make antibodies against healthy cells, but predicting who will be affected is difficult.

People with other autoimmune diseases have an increased chance of developing Graves' disease. Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and vitiligo-a disorder in which some parts of the skin are not pigmented-are among the conditions associated with Graves' disease.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.