Hernia Risk Factors

Hernia Risk Factors

A hernia occurs when an organ pushes out of a weakened portion of muscle in which it normally resides. The combination of pressure and a weakened portion of the surrounding muscle typically cause them.

Specific risk factors can be broken down by hernia type:

Inguinal hernia risk factors

Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia and make up almost 3/4 of all hernias treated.

Those with a higher risk of inguinal hernia include:

  • Being male. Men are 8 times more likely to develop an inguinal hernia than are women.
  • Older adults. Muscles weaken as you age.
  • Being white.
  • Family history. People with close relatives, such as a parent or sibling, who have had inguinal hernias.
  • Previous hernia repair. Even if your previous hernia occurred in childhood, you’re at a higher risk of developing another inguinal hernia.
  • Chronic cough, such as from smoking. Also, as chemicals in tobacco weaken tissues, making a hernia more likely.
  • People with chronic constipation. Constipation causes straining during bowel movements.
  • Premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Pregnancy. Being pregnant can weaken the abdominal muscles and cause increased pressure inside your abdomen.


Umbilical hernia risk factors

An umbilical hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine pushes through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles and navel.

Umbilical hernias are most common in infants — especially premature babies and those with low birth weights. Black infants appear to have a slightly increased risk of umbilical hernias. The condition affects boys and girls equally.

In adults, the risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having multiple pregnancies
  • Being female


Hiatal hernia risk factors

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper portion of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.

The risk of hiatal hernia is higher in people who:

  • Are age 50 years or over.
  • Are obese.






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