Who gets pneumonia?

Anyone can get pneumonia, but it is most common in people whose host defenses are compromised in some way. Poverty and malnutrition are important factors predisposing to pneumonia. In poorer regions of the world, children are hit especially hard. Approximately half the lung infection deaths worldwide are in children under age five. Host defenses are also compromised with advancing age. In wealthier communities, where people tend to live longer, pneumonia is an especially prominent problem for older people. Other factors increasing the risk of pneumonia include cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, and obesity. Hospitalization is another important risk factor for pneumonia.

Figure is from the essay “Lung infection – A public health priority.”