HAE Attack Triggers

What causes Hereditary Angiodema (HAE) attacks?

Most attacks occur spontaneously, with no apparent reason; however these situations have been cited as triggers.

  • anxiety
  • stress
  • minor trauma
  • surgery
  • illnesses such as colds and flu

Patients have also reported swelling in extremities following

  • typing
  • prolonged writing
  • pushing a lawn mower
  • hammering
  • shoveling
  • and other physical activities.
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    In women, menstruation and pregnancy seem to have a major effect on disease activity. Some female patients report a definite increase in the number of attacks during their menstrual periods, pregnancy, or while breast-feeding.

    Use of estrogen-derived medicines), such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is also associated with an increase in the frequency and severity of attacks.

    Consult with your HAE treating physician regarding alternative birth control options.

    Read more here

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    ACE Inhibitors

    ACE Inhibitors have been known to increase the frequency and intensity of HAE attacks. ACE Inhibitors are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

    See list of ACE Inhibitors licensed in the US

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    Dental Procedures

    Trauma to the oral cavity caused by dental procedures make HAE patients particularly vulnerable to airway attacks.

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    At what age do attacks of Hereditary Angioedema start?

    The age of HAE onset varies considerably, however, in one study, half of the patients reported onset of their symptoms by the age of seven, and over two thirds became symptomatic by the age of thirteen. There also seems to be an increased frequency of attacks during puberty or adolescence.

More HAE related articles that might interest you

HAE Clinical Trials

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What if I am pregnant?

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Studies report that pregnant women with HAE describe that pregnancy worsened symptoms or symptoms improved…

ACE Inhibitors

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ACE Inhibitors have been known to increase the frequency and intensity of HAE attacks. ACE…



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