Why are the elderly at increased risk for complications from viral pneumonia?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

Elderly persons are at increased risk of infection and complications in viral pneumonia because of comorbidities. Waning cellular, humoral, and innate immune functioning may impair viral clearance, which allows spread of the virus to the lower respiratory tract resulting in increased inflammation. Elderly persons also have decreased respiratory muscle strength and impaired protection of the respiratory tract from mucus. [13]


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