Things That Increase Your Risk of Emphysema

Emphysema Risk Factors

Most people with emphysema are smokers or were smokers in the past. People with a family history of emphysema are more likely to get the disease if they smoke. The chance of developing emphysema is also greater in people who have spent many years in contact with lung irritants such as:
  • Air pollution
  • Chemical fumes, vapors, and dusts usually linked to certain jobs.
A person who has had frequent and severe lung infections, especially during childhood, may have a greater chance of developing lung damage that can lead to emphysema. Fortunately, this is much less common today, thanks to antibiotic treatments.

Information on Emphysema

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