Castleman Disease Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that might change a person’s chance of getting a disease. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed. But having a risk factor, or even several, doesn’t mean that a person will get the disease. And, many people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors.

Most patients with Castleman disease (CD) don’t have any known risk factors.

The only clear risk factor for CD is infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The multicentric form of Castleman disease is much more common in people with HIV infection, particularly in those who have developed AIDS. This might be because these people tend to have weakened immune systems, which allows the growth of another virus known as HHV-8 (see What Causes Castleman Disease?). It’s not clear if people who have weakened immune systems for other reasons are also at higher risk.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Castleman Disease Collaborative Network. About Castleman disease. Accessed January 5, 2018.  

National Organization for Rare Disorders. Castleman disease. Accessed at  on January 5, 2018. 

Simpson D. Epidemiology of Castleman disease. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2018;32(1):1-10. 

Wu D, Lim MS, Jaffe ES. Pathology of Castleman disease. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2018;32(1):37-52. 

Last Revised: February 1, 2018

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