What are factors that increase the risk of Legionnaires disease?

Updated: Aug 24, 2018
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The risk of infection increases with the type and intensity of the exposure, as well as the health status of the exposed individual. Numerous factors increase the risk of acquiring legionellae infections, including the following:

  • Advanced age

  • Smoking

  • Chronic heart or lung disease

  • Immunocompromised hosts with impaired cell-mediated immunity (eg, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]) or immunosuppressive medication use (especially corticosteroids)

  • Diabetes

  • Hematologic malignancies

  • End-stage renal disease

  • Alcohol abuse


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