Who Gets Chronic IH?
Anyone can develop chronic IH, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, race or body type.
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is characterized as a disorder affecting overweight women of childbearing age. The relationship between weight and elevated intracranial pressure is not well-understood, though in many cases of IIH, losing weight helps reduce papilledema and sometimes, induces a remission. This is why weight reduction is important for those who are overweight and have IIH. However, in some people, weight loss does not make a difference. So while weight can be a significant factor in IIH, it is clearly not the only factor.
Additionally, if a person is not overweight or a young woman, an IIH diagnosis should not necessarily be dismissed. IIH has been found, though less frequently, in men and women of all body types, ages and races. In cases of IIH in children under ten, weight and gender are not significant factors.
It is also important to note that in secondary IH, unlike IIH, obesity, gender, age and race are not factors. Physicians should never rule out chronic IH—idiopathic or secondary—based on gender or body type.