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What Are The Risk Factors Of Pneumonia

Health Conditions And Age Can Increase Risk Choose A Topic To Learn More

Risk Factors for Pneumonia â? (Quick Medical Explanation)

People living with asthma are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

People living with chronic lung disease are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

People living with chronic heart disease are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

People living with diabetes are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

People taking immunosuppressive medicines are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range. This includes some medicines that treat psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohnâs disease, or ulcerative colitis, among others.

People living with certain malignant cancers are at greater risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

People living with chronic renal failure are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

People living with a non-functioning spleen are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

People living with HIV are at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia, compared to healthy adults in the same age range.

How Is Pneumonia Spread From Person To Person

Pneumonia is spread when droplets of fluid containing the pneumonia bacteria or virus are launched in the air when someone coughs or sneezes and then inhaled by others. You can also get pneumonia from touching an object previously touched by the person with pneumonia or touching a tissue used by the infected person and then touching your mouth or nose.

Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children

Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:

  • Drinking more fluids.
  • Getting more rest.
  • Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
  • Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Pneumonia

While pneumonia can affect people of all ages, the following age groups face a greater risk:

  • Infants who are two years old or younger
  • Adults who are 65 years old or older

Several conditions place people at risk for pneumonia, as they often result in a weakened or suppressed immune system. These include:

  • Conditions that require an organ, blood or marrow stem cell transplant

Other risk factors for pneumonia include:

  • Abusing alcohol
  • Exposure to some chemicals, toxic fumes or pollutants
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Staying in a hospital intensive care unit, especially if using a ventilator

Diagnostic Tests And Procedures

Pneumonia Risk Factors

If your doctor thinks you have pneumonia, he or she may do one or more of the following tests.

  • Chest X-ray to look for inflammation in your lungs. A chest X-ray is often used to diagnose pneumonia.
  • Blood tests, such as a complete blood count to see whether your immune system is fighting an infection.
  • Pulse oximetry to measure how much oxygen is in your blood. Pneumonia can keep your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your blood. To measure the levels, a small sensor called a pulse oximeter is attached to your finger or ear.

If you are in the hospital, have serious symptoms, are older, or have other health problems, your doctor may do other tests to diagnose pneumonia.

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Besides Vaccination What Else Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia

Receiving all recommended vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent pneumonia. Additionally, there are several other ways to prevent pneumonia, including:

  • Quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke. Smoking damages your lungs.
  • Washing your hands before eating, before handling food, after using the restroom, and after being outside. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding being around people who are sick. Ask them to visit when they are feeling better.
  • Not touching or sharing objects that are shared with others. Germs can be transferred from object to you if you touch your nose or mouth without washing or sanitizing your hands first.
  • Eating a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough rest. Healthy habits keep your immune system strong.
  • Getting treated for any other infections or health conditions you may have. These conditions could weaken your immune system, which could increase your chance of infections.
  • Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.

What Is The Outlook For Pneumonia

People who are otherwise healthy often recover quickly when given prompt and proper care. However, pneumonia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if left untreated and especially for those individuals at increased risk for pneumonia.

Even patients who have been successfully treated and have fully recovered may face long-term health issues. Children who have recovered from pneumonia have an increased risk of chronic lung diseases. Adults may experience:

  • General decline in quality of life for months or years

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Major Points And Recommendations For Modifiable Risk Factors

General Prophylaxis

  • Effective infection control measures: staff education, compliance with alcohol-based hand disinfection, and isolation to reduce cross-infection with MDR pathogens should be used routinely .
  • Surveillance of ICU infections, to identify and quantify endemic and new MDR pathogens, and preparation of timely data for infection control and to guide appropriate, antimicrobial therapy in patients with suspected HAP or other nosocomial infections, are recommended .

When Can I Return To Work School And Regular Activities If I Have Pneumonia

Pneumonia: Risk factors for MRSA

You typically can resume your normal activities if your symptoms are gone, mild or improving and you do not have new or worsening:

  • Shortness of breath or tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • Mucus, fever or cough

If you are generally healthy, most people feel well enough to return to previous activities in about a week. However, it may take about a month to feel totally back to normal.

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What Causes Fungal Pneumonia

This type of pneumonia is rare and is mostly a risk if you have a weakened immune systemfor example, you are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, have had an organ transplant, or are living with untreated HIV infectionand/or you live in an area of the U.S. where certain fungi are endemic .

Fungal pneumonia is not contagious. It is caused by spores from fungi that become airborne and are breathed in. Fungal pneumonia can take longer to develop than bacterial and viral pneumonia. In fact, some types can have an incubation period of months after the spore is originally breathed in.

These are some of the fungi that cause pneumonia:

Lifestyle Factors And Risk Of Cap

The potential association between lifestyle factors and the risk of CAP was investigated in 12 case-control studies, performed in France , Germany , The Netherlands ,, Spain , and the UK .,,, Study details are summarised in online supplementary table S3.

There was consistent evidence that smoking was associated with an increased risk of CAP.,,,, Compared with non-smokers , the risk of CAP was increased in current smokers to 1.81 adjusted ORs: 0.99 to 2.00 ) and former smokers to 1.40 adjusted OR: 1.04 ).

Compared with individuals who consumed no alcohol , consumption of 40g alcohol daily appeared to protect against CAP and 0.88 )., However, the risk increased in individuals with higher consumption > 80g/day, crude OR: 2.34 ) or with a history of alcohol abuse/alcoholism and 1.62 ).

Being underweight was generally associated with an increased risk of CAP to 2.20 ,,,) compared with normal bodyweight . A reduced risk was seen in individuals classified as overweight to 0.89 ,,,, adjusted ORs: 0.6 and 0.78 ), whereas those classified as obese had either a lower risk to 0.81 ,,, adjusted ORs: 0.7 and 0.71 ) or the same risk ) as those of normal weight.

Two studies found that visiting the dentist was associated with a decreased risk of CAP in the past year, OR 0.59 ). In contrast, one study found that frequent visits to the general practitioner in the previous year were associated with a substantial increase in the risk of CAP ).

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How Do The Lungs Work

Your lungs main job is to get oxygen into your blood and remove carbon dioxide. This happens during breathing. You breathe 12 to 20 times per minute when you are not sick. When you breathe in, air travels down the back of your throat and passes through your voice box and into your windpipe . Your trachea splits into two air passages . One bronchial tube leads to the left lung, the other to the right lung. For the lungs to perform their best, the airways need to be open as you breathe in and out. Swelling and mucus can make it harder to move air through the airways, making it harder to breathe. This leads to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than normal.

Risk Factors For Aspiration Pneumonia In Older Adults

  • Affiliations Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Science, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, Department of Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Ibaraki, Japan

  • * E-mail:

    Affiliations Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Science, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, Hitachinaka Medical Education and Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan

  • Affiliation Department of Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Ibaraki, Japan

  • Affiliations Tatsumanosato Geriatric Health Service Facility, Tatsuma, Daitou, Osaka, Japan, Japanese Association of Geriatric Health Services Facilities, Tokyo, Japan

  • Affiliation Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Science, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

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What Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have Pneumonia

  • Finish all medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotics when you start feeling better. Continue taking them until no pills remain. If you dont take all your antibiotics, your pneumonia may come back.
  • If over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever have been recommended , take as directed on the label. Never give aspirin to children.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen phlegm.
  • Quit smoking if you smoke. Dont be around others who smoke or vape. Surround yourself with as much clean, chemical-free air as possible.
  • Use a humidifier, take a steamy shower or bath to make it easier for you to breathe.
  • Get lots of rest. Dont rush your recovery. It can take weeks to get your full strength back.

If at any time you start to feel worse, call your doctor right away.

Which People Are More Likely To Get Pneumonia

Although anyone can get pneumonia, it is more common in certain groups. Children younger than age 2 and people older than age 65 are most likely to develop it. Certain factors can also increase your risk of pneumonia, such as:

  • Having a weakened immune system. This is usually a problem for people who have HIV/AIDS, who are alcoholic, who have had an organ transplant, or who have undergone chemotherapy or long-term treatment with steroids or other immunosuppressant drugs.
  • Being hospitalized or being on a ventilator
  • Having a chronic condition including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, structural lung disease and heart disease
  • Smoking

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How Common Is Pneumonia

Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital — childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.

What Are The Risk Factors For Bacterial Pneumonia

Pneumonia: Risk factors for Pseudomonas

Coinfection with H1N1 influenza increases the risk of secondary bacterial pneumonia, with S pneumoniae the most likely coinfection. However, pregnant patients with H1N1 influenza in the 2009 pandemic were at increased risk of developing secondary Klebsiella pneumonia with poor clinical outcome.

Other risk factors include local lung pathologies , chronic gingivitis and periodontitis, and smoking which impairs resistance to infection. Furthermore, any individual with an altered sensorium or central nervous system impairment may have a reduced gag reflex, which allows aspiration of stomach or oropharyngeal contents and contributes to the development of aspiration pneumonias.

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Comorbid Conditions And Risk Of Cap

The association between comorbidities and the risk of CAP was investigated in 14 case-control studies , Germany , The Netherlands , Spain , and the UK ,,,,, .

A history of respiratory disease was associated with an increased risk of CAP. A history of pneumonia increased the risk of a subsequent episode ,,). Patients with chronic respiratory diseases, including COPD, bronchitis or asthma, had a twofold to fourfold increase in the risk of CAP to 3.92 ,,,,,,). Additional data also support this association. One study reported an adjusted OR of 2.47 for chronic respiratory disease, and another study reported adjusted RRs of 2.82 for COPD and 1.58 for asthma. Patients with at least one respiratory tract infection in the past year were also at increased risk of CAP to 4.5 ). In young adults, the risk of CAP increased in line with the number of infections over the previous 6years > 3 infections, adjusted OR 4.84 ).

Chronic cardiovascular disease increased the risk of CAP up to threefold to 3.2 ,,,,,,,). Additional studies supported an association between chronic heart disease and 1.66 ) or heart failure and 1.37 adjusted RR: 2.63 ) and the risk of CAP.

Two studies in elderly patients found a strong association between dysphagia and risk of CAP. A large database study in patients aged 65years reported a crude OR of 2.10 , whereas a small study in patients aged 70years reported a crude OR of 16.3 and an adjusted OR of 11.9 .

Pneumonia Death Rates All Ages

In the map we see the death rate from pneumonia expressed as the number of deaths due to pneumonia per year per 100,000 individuals.

We can see that the death rate from pneumonia is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast-Asia. The difference between richer and poorer countries is large: European populations suffer a rate of around 10 deaths per 100,000 while poorer countries see rate of more than 100 deaths per 100,000 is

In Southeast-Asia, the population of the Philippines suffer from particularly high pneumonia mortality rates pneumonia is the second leading cause of death in both under-5-year-old and older than 70-year-old populations in this country.

These rates have been age-standardized, which tells us the death rate for each country and each point in time as if the age structure of a population. This therefore allows us to make across comparisons across countries and through time that are not affected by differences in the age-structure between countries and changes of the age-structure over time.

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Pneumonia And Long Covid

In a Q& A about lingering COVID-19 symptoms, the Cleveland Clinic notes that it is seemingly random who experiences long-lasting symptoms and who doesn’t. So, its not quite clear whether having pneumonia in the past is connected with having long COVID.

As a way to find answers, in 2021, the National Institutes of Health launched an ongoing study into the underlying biological causes of prolonged symptoms and what makes some people more likely to get long COVID.

When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia

Community Acquired Pneumonia

If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:

  • Oxygen
  • Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
  • Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus

People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:

  • Babies and young children
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs

It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.

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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed

Pneumonia is an acute respiratory disorder characterized by inflammation and exudative solidification of the lung parenchyma. It fills the alveoli with inflammatory exudates that result in the consolidation of the lungs.

Chest X-ray is normal in the initial stages if the infection is mild. The characteristic feature is a consolidation of the lungs and ground-glass opacities in the lower lobes of both lungs. The gold standard for diagnosis is high resolution computed tomography scan that shows the extent of lung involvement and pleural effusion.

Medical History And Physical Exam

Your doctor will ask about your signs and symptoms and when they began. Your doctor will also ask whether you have any risk factors for pneumonia. Your doctor also may ask about:

  • Exposure to sick people at home, school, or work or in a hospital
  • Flu or pneumonia vaccinations
  • Exposure to birds and other animals
  • Smoking

During your physical exam, your doctor will check your temperature and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.

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