Pneumonia: Who Are Most At Risk?

Pneumonia can affect people of all ages. However, there are certain groups of people who are at higher risk for having a serious or life-threatening case of pneumonia. These include:

  • children below 2 years old
  • adults aged 65 and older
  • people who are hospitalized, particularly those on a ventilator
  • individuals with a chronic disease or condition, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or diabetes
  • people with a weakened immune system due to a chronic condition, chemotherapy, or an organ transplant
  • smokers

Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It accounted for 16% of all deaths of children under 5 years old killing approximately 2,400 children a day in 2015. In the Philippines, pneumonia is the third leading cause of death across all ages and is the most common cause of death among children under 5 years of age.

Your chance of getting pneumonia is higher if you live or spend a lot of time in crowded places such as military barracks, prison, or nursing homes. Your risk is also higher if you regularly breathe in air pollution or toxic fumes. Some germs that cause pneumonia can infect birds and other animals. You are most likely to encounter these germs if you work in a poultry farm or processing center, pet shop, or veterinary clinic.

Older people have higher risk of getting pneumonia, and are more likely to die from it if they develop the infection. Pneumonia can develop in patients already in the hospital for other reasons. Hospital-acquired pneumonia has a higher mortality rate than any other hospital-acquired infection.

Being on a ventilator significantly raises the risk for serious pneumonia. Ventilator-associated pneumonia is more likely to be caused by antibiotic-resistant microbes and can require the highest antibiotic use in the critically-ill population.

Consult your doctor for more information on pneumonia.

Shop at Watsons for your vitamins, supplements, prescription medications, and other essential healthcare needs. Flu and Pneumonia vaccines are also available. Check Watsons vaccination schedules now!

 

References:
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/pneumonia/causes. Accessed 24 August 2022
https://www.healthline.com/health/pneumonia/can-you-die-from-pneumonia#risk. Accessed 24 August 2022
https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/top-pneumonia-facts.pdf. Accessed 24 August 2022
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/pneumonia. Accessed 24 August 2022
http://www.pidsphil.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/003_vol-22-no-2_SANTOS_PNEUMONIA.pdf. Accessed 26 August 2022

Related Articles

Flu Prevention During Pregnancy

The flu (influenza) can be more severe and last longer when you’re pregnant. You may be more likely to develop […]

Flu: When to See a Doctor

In most cases, the flu (influenza) causes mild illness that can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines for fever, […]

Five Key Facts About Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection of the lungs. In the Philippines, pneumonia is the third leading cause of death […]