Many factors such as age, smoking, and other medical conditions can increase your chances of getting pneumonia and having more severe pneumonia.
Pneumonia can affect people of all ages. However, two age groups are at greater risk of developing pneumonia and having more severe pneumonia:
- Infants who are two years old or younger because their immune systems are still developing during the first few years of life.
- People who are 65 years old or older because their immune systems begin to change as a normal part of aging.
Your risk for pneumonia may increase if you have been exposed to certain chemicals, pollutants, or toxic fumes.
Smoking cigarettes, excessive use of alcohol, or being undernourished also increases your risk for pneumonia.
Other medical conditions
Other conditions and factors also increase your risk for pneumonia. Your risk also goes up if you:
- Have trouble coughing because of a stroke or other condition, or have problems swallowing.
- Can't move around much or are .
- Recently had a cold or the flu.
- Have a lung disease or other serious disease including cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchiectasis, diabetes, heart failure, or sickle cell disease.
- Are in a hospital intensive-care unit, especially if you using a ventilator to help you breathe.
- Have a weak or suppressed immune system due to HIV/AIDS, organ transplant or blood and marrow stem cell transplant, chemotherapy (a treatment for cancer), or long-term steroid use.