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Understanding Your Risk Factors for Pneumonia as You Get Older

Baby Boomers are fond of saying 50 is the new 30. Sure, today’s Boomers and older Gen X-ers may like to work out, eat right and stay active, but did you know that an estimated quarter of a million Americans age 50 and over are hospitalized each year for pneumococcal pneumonia and some even die from it?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia. Even otherwise healthy and active older adults are at increased risk because of their aging immune system.


Consider this:

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia doesn’t just happen to the elderly or those who are in the hospital
  • Understand Your Risk Factors for Pneumococcal Pneumonia as You Get Older 2It’s estimated that a quarter of a million Americans over 50 are hospitalized each year with pneumococcal pneumonia,  with an average hospital stay of five days
  • Many Americans 50 and older may not realize they are at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia can be spread by coughing or sneezing, and being in close contact with an infected person
  • Common symptoms include high fever, excessive sweating and chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain


A national survey of 1,000 Americans age 50 to 75 was conducted on behalf of Who Pneu?, an American Lung Association campaign in partnership with Pfizer, by Harris Poll during the summer of 2015, to help identify gaps in awareness. The poll suggests that these adults may not understand their personal risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. A majority (85 percent) think people 50 and older are at risk, yet only half (50 percent) believe they are personally at risk.

Dr. Norman H. Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor at the American Lung Association, joined me recently to discuss the survey results and drive greater awareness of pneumococcal pneumonia among Baby Boomers and older Gen X-ers who may think they are not at personal risk. 


Take a listen to our chat below.



For more information on how to protect yourself or your loved ones from pneumonia this season, visit: www.whopneu.com.



Meet Our Guest:



PneumoniaNorman H. Edelman, M.D., is the American Lung Association’s leading scientific authority. Having served as the Association’s Chief Medical Officer for 30 years, he is a highly sought after expert on all matters pertaining to lung health and is a seasoned media veteran.

A graduate of Brooklyn College, Dr. Edelman received his medical degree from New York University, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. He received postgraduate training at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and went on to become a Research Associate at the National Institutes of Health, National Heart Institute. He then served as a Visiting Fellow in Medicine and later as an Advanced Research Fellow of the American Heart Association, Cardiorespiratory Laboratory at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Edelman is a member of the Association of American Physicians, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Physiological Society and American Thoracic Society. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Association for Advancement of Science. Dr. Edelman has served as a member of the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Applied Physiology, American Review of Respiratory Diseases, and Chest. He is presently a member of the New York State Council on Graduate Medical Education.


Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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