Causes And Risk Factors

Causes

Prolonged or excess exposure to cortisol as a result of:

  • Long-term use of corticosteroid hormones such as cortisone or prednisone
  • Tumor or abnormality of the adrenal gland, which causes the body to produce excess cortisol
  • Tumor or abnormality of the pituitary gland, which causes the body to produce excess cortisol (in the case of a pituitary tumor, it is called Cushing's disease)
  • Rarely, tumors of the lungs, thyroid, kidney, pancreas, or thymus gland produce hormones that trigger the syndrome

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of Cushing's syndrome include:

  • Chronic use of corticosteroid medicines
  • Age: 20-50 years
  • Sex: female (much more common in women)

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