Who is at risk of pneumonia?

Pneumonia can affect anyone and it often occurs during winter months.Some people are at more risk of catching pneumonia than others. Risk factors include: 

Age

The incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia in adults starts increasing from the age of 45.2

Long-term medical conditions

Conditions such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, chronic lung, liver or kidney disease, diabetes or a respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can increase your risk.3

Weakened Immunity

People with weakened immunity include:

  • Patients with asplenia or splenic dysfunction
  • Those with multiple myeloma
  • Those with genetic disorders affecting the immune system
  • Patients undergoing chemotherapy
  • Bone marrow transplant patients
  • Those with HIV (at all stages)
  • Patients with asplenia or splenic dysfunction
  • Those with multiple myeloma
  • Those with genetic disorders affecting the immune system
  • Patients undergoing chemotherapy
  • Bone marrow transplant patients
  • Those with HIV (at all stages)

Smoking

Smoking cessation reduces the risk of infection​​​​​​.4

Flu

People with flu are up to 100 times more likely to develop pneumonia.5

Help protect against pneumococcal pneumonia

Find out how to help protect yourself or others against pneumococcal pneumonia.

View References
  1. BLF. What is Pneumonia. Available at: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/pneumonia/what-is-pneumonia/ . Last Accessed October 2021.
  2. Miller E, Andrews NJ, Waight PA, et al. Herd Immunity and serotype replacement 4 years after seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in England and Wales: an observational cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2011;11:760-768.
  3. Public Health England. The Green Book [2013]. Chapter 25: Pneumococcal. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pneumococcal-the-green-book-chapter-25. Last accessed October 2021.
  4. NHS. Pneumonia. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pneumonia/. Last accessed October 2021.
  5. Shrestha S, Foxman B, Weinberger DM, et al. Identifying the interaction between influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia using incidence data. Sci Transl Med. 2013;5(191):191ra84.
PP-VAC-GBR-1839 October 2021