Except for rare cases, LAM only affects women. More than 70 percent of women who develop LAM are between the ages of 20 and 40 when they begin to have symptoms. However, LAM can occur in women as old as 80.
More than 800 women in the United States have been diagnosed with either sporadic LAM or TSC–LAM.
Many more women may have LAM and not know it. They may have been wrongly diagnosed with another, more common lung disease, such as emphysema (em-fi-SE-ma), asthma, or bronchitis (brong-KI-tis).
LAM affects about 3 out of every 10 women who have TSC. Thus, as many as 10,000 women in the United States who have TSC also may have undiagnosed LAM. Many of these women may have mild cases of LAM that don’t cause symptoms. Not everyone who has TSC and LAM has lung symptoms.