Risk Factors for Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

Executive Summary

Risk factors influence the chance of developing cancer (gestational trophoblastic disease) among individuals, but individuals with no risk factors also develop cancer. The common risk factors for the gestational trophoblastic disease include age (individuals with an age group younger than 20 or older than 35 during pregnancy bring a higher risk of GTD), previous molar pregnancy, nutrition or diet (low carotene and vitamin), blood type (specific blood types—A and AB increases the risk of GTD), and family history of molar pregnancy.

Risk Factors Associated with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

A risk factor can be anything that influences the development of any cancer, but having a risk factor, or many does not give certainty of having particular cancer. Some people with no risk factors can also develop cancer. 

The following factors may increase the risk of GTD ​1​:

  • Age – Being younger than 20 or older than 35 during pregnancy brings a higher risk of GTD. The risk increases with age.
  • Previous molar pregnancy – The last molar pregnancy may increase the risk of developing another GTD ​2​.
  • Nutrition/diet – Some studies have linked low carotene and vitamin A levels in a person’s diet with a higher risk of molar pregnancy, additionally, Specific blood types like A and AB—may slightly increase the risk of GTD.

Family history of molar pregnancy – There have been rare cases of women in the same family having one or more molar pregnancies


  1. 1.
    Karimi-Zarchi M, Mortazavizadeh M, Soltani-Gerdefaramrzi M, Rouhi M, Yazdian-Anari P, Ahmadiyeh M. Investigation of Risk Factors, Stage and Outcome in Patients with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease since 2001 to 2011 in Iran-Yazd. Int J Biomed Sci. 2015;11(4):166-172. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26759532
  2. 2.
    Ghaemmaghami F, Karimi Z. Early onset of metastatic gestational trophoblastic disease after full-term pregnancy. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008;4(1):74-77. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23675070