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What May Increase Your Risk of Problems From a Cough?

What May Increase Your Risk of Problems From a Cough?

Many conditions, diseases, medicines, and lifestyle choices interfere with your ability to heal or fight infection. You may be at risk for a more serious problem from your symptoms if you have any of the following. Be sure to tell your health professional.

Conditions

  • Age younger than 3 months
  • Age older than 60
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Living with smokers or being regularly exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Previous surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy)
  • Recent hospitalization (may increase your risk for pneumonia)

Lifestyle choices

  • Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Occupational exposure to smoke, dust, or fumes
  • Smoking or other tobacco use

Medicines

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as captopril (Capoten), enalapril maleate (Vasotec), or lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril, or Zestoretic)
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • Medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection
  • Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy)
  • Radiation therapy

Diseases

  • Chronic upper respiratory illnesses such as chronic sinusitis, otitis media, or tonsillitis
  • Chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, emphysema), bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis (TB), or bronchiectasis
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Heart disease, especially heart failure
  • History of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or spontaneous pneumothorax
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Stroke
By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
David Messenger, MD
Last Revised December 21, 2011

Last Revised: December 21, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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