Although people who have family histories of muscular dystrophy may be at a higher risk for this disease, this condition can affect anyone of any race or age and occurs in both sexes, reports the Mayo Clinic. There are different types of muscular dystrophy, but Duchenne is the most common and affects boys.
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic mutation that may be passed to subsequent generations. However, the mutation can also take place in the egg of a woman, relates the Mayo Clinic. Muscular dystrophy can be categorized as either familial or sporadic. Approximately 10 percent of muscular dystrophy cases are familial in nature, while the remaining 90 percent are sporadic and can occur without a family connection, reports the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Muscular dystrophy is caused by defective genes that cause problems with protein production needed for healthy muscles. The condition cause degeneration of muscles in the body. There are more than 30 different types of diseases that are associated with muscular dystrophy, explains the National Institute of Health.