As of 2014, doctors do not cite any absolute specific causes of colorectal polyps, but research suggests they may be caused by some genetic factors or prior conditions, notes Healthline. Additionally, those with certain unhealthy lifestyles or habits may be at an increased risk of developing polyps.
Mayo Clinic reports that people over 50 are most at risk for developing polyps. Research shows that numerous inherited conditions are known to cause polyps, and family history of either cancerous or benign colorectal polyps can also heighten a person's risk of developing polyps. African-Americans appear to have a higher risk. Tobacco use, drinking and obesity due to lack of physical activity can contribute to having polyps.