Diseases and Conditions

Buerger's disease

Risk factors

Tobacco use

Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk of Buerger's disease. But Buerger's disease can occur in people who use any form of tobacco, including cigars and chewing tobacco. People who smoke hand-rolled cigarettes using raw tobacco may have the greatest risk of Buerger's disease.

It isn't clear how tobacco use increases your risk of Buerger's disease, but virtually everyone diagnosed with Buerger's disease uses tobacco. It's thought that chemicals in tobacco may irritate the lining of your blood vessels, causing them to swell. The rates of Buerger's disease are highest in areas of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia where heavy smoking is most common.

Chronic gum disease

Long-term infection of the gums also is linked to the development of Buerger's disease.

Sex

Buerger's disease is far more common in males than in females. However, this difference may be linked to higher rates of smoking in men.

Age

The disease often first appears in people less than 45 years old.