Who is at risk for Raynaud's?


People with certain connective tissue disorders and autoimmune diseases are at increased risk for Raynaud's disease, as are those who smoke, drink alcohol, or are infected with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

The risk factors for primary Raynaud's (Raynaud's disease) and secondary Raynaud's (Raynaud's phenomenon) are different.
The risk factors for primary Raynaud's include:
  • Gender: About 80 percent of people who have primary Raynaud's are women
  • Age: Primary Raynaud's usually develops before the age of 30
  • Family history: Primary Raynaud's may occur in members of the same family
  • Living in a cold climate: Cold temperatures can trigger Raynaud's attacks
The risk factors for secondary Raynaud's include:
  • Age: Secondary Raynaud's usually develops after the age of 30
  • Certain diseases and conditions: For examples, diseases that directly damage the arteries or damage the nerves that control the arteries in the hands and feet may cause secondary Raynaud's.
  • Injuries to the hands or feet
  • Exposure to certain workplace chemicals, such as vinyl chloride (used in the plastics industry)
  • Repetitive actions with the hands, such as typing or using vibrating tools
  • Certain medicines, such as migraine, cancer, cold/allergy, or blood pressure medicines
  • Smoking
  • Living in a cold climate
This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.

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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.