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Health Tip: Are You at Greater Risk for Pneumonia?

Health Tip: Are You at Greater Risk for Pneumonia?

02/28/12

(HealthDay News) -- Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by a bacterium, virus or fungus. Often, the lungs' air sacs fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says risk factors for pneumonia include:

  • Being 65 or older, or a baby aged 2 years or younger. Both age groups tend to have weaker immune systems.
  • Having a lung disease or condition that affects breathing, including cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.
  • Having a chronic disease such as heart failure, diabetes or sickle cell anemia.
  • Being in a hospital's intensive care unit, particularly if you need a ventilator to breathe.
  • Having certain complications of stroke, including coughing or problems swallowing.
  • Being malnourished.
  • Smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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