Fast Five Quiz: Key Aspects of Multiple Myeloma

Emmanuel C. Besa, MD


September 26, 2019

Worldwide, multiple myeloma incidence is increasing, notably in Australasia, high-income North America, and Western Europe. The United States has the most incident cases and deaths related to the condition. Multiple myeloma is twice as common among black Americans than among white Americans, for reasons that are unknown. Men are slightly more likely to develop multiple myeloma than are women.

The precise etiology of multiple myeloma has not yet been established. Roles have been suggested for various factors, including genetic causes, environmental or occupational causes, monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS), radiation, chronic inflammation, and infection.

Although multiple myeloma has been reported in first-degree relatives and in identical twins, no evidence suggests a hereditary basis for the disease. Human herpesvirus 8 (HH8) infection of bone marrow dendritic cells has been found in patients with multiple myeloma and in some patients with MGUS.

Read more about the etiology and epidemiology of multiple myeloma.


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