What are the major risk factors for chronic bronchitis?

Risk factors may not be a direct cause of chronic bronchitis, but seem to increase the likelihood of developing chronic bronchitis. Bronchitis can become chronic if:

  • you smoke or live with a smoker
  • you have low resistance to disease (very old, very young, or have immune disorder)
  • you have frequent respiratory infections
  • you have acid reflux (GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • you are exposed to lung irritants on the job
  • you are exposed to air pollution

To learn more:

Bronchitis: Risk Factors
The Mayo Clinic describes the different factors that put people at risk for developing chronic bronchitis.
COPD Causes and Risk Factors
This site provides information about the factors that contribute to COPD. It lists factors people can and can't control.
COPD: Learn More, Breathe Better
(National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)
This gives several risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and what people can do to prevent the disease.
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next » What other health problems can develop from having chronic bronchitis?

Written by: Lillian Trettin, Ph.D.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Thursday October 31, 2019 10:12 AM