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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.1 Consider these risk factors:


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

Weakened immunity can be caused by:

  • Asplenia or splenic dysfunction
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Genetic disorders affecting the immune system
  • Chemotherapy
  • Bone marrow transplants
  • HIV (at all stages)


    Stopping smoking reduces the risk of infection​​​​​​.4


    During a flu infection and for up to 1 week after, you are around 100 times more likely to develop pneumococcal pneumonia.5

    View References
    1. Asthma and Lung UK. What is Pneumonia. Available at: . Last accessed January 2024.
    2. Miller E, Andrews NJ, Waight PA, et al. Lancet Infect Dis. 2011;11:760-768.
    3. UK Health Security Agency. The Green Book (published 2013; updated 2023). Chapter 25:
      Pneumococcal. Available at: Last accessed January 2024.
    4. NHS. Pneumonia. Available at: Last accessed January 2024.
    5. Shrestha, S., Foxman, B., Berus, J. et al. The role of influenza in the epidemiology of pneumonia. Sci Rep 2015;5:15314

    PP-UNP-GBR-7131  January 2024