Certain chronic health conditions can weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off infectious diseases like pneumococcal pneumonia. These include asthma, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, and diabetes, among others.
Medicines you take:
Taking medicines that suppress your immune system can also put you at higher risk. This includes some medicines that treat psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, among other conditions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if one of the medicines you take suppresses your immune system.
If you are 65 or older, you may be at higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. Even if you’re healthy.
Smoking damages lung tissue, making lungs more vulnerable to infection by the bacteria that cause pneumococcal pneumonia.