Causes and risk factors of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
The cause of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) isn’t known, but research is going on to find out more.
There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of developing CLL:
Age - The risk of developing CLL increases with age. Most people with CLL are over 60: it’s rare in people under the age of 40.
Gender - CLL is more common in men than women.
Family history - Although most people with CLL have no family history of the disease, studies show that there is an increased risk of developing CLL if you have a first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) who has it. This is known as familial CLL. If anyone else in your family has CLL, it’s important to let your specialist know. However, most people who have a relative with CLL will never develop it themselves.
Ethnicity - CLL is most common in people of European origin, slightly less common in people of African origin, and rare in Asian people.
CLL is not infectious and can’t be passed on to other people.