Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Risk factors for pneumothorax include:
- Your sex. In general, men are far more likely to have a pneumothorax than are women.
- Smoking. The risk increases with the length of time and the number of cigarettes smoked, even without emphysema.
- Age. The type of pneumothorax caused by ruptured air blisters is most likely to occur in people between 20 and 40 years old, especially if the person is a very tall and underweight man.
- Genetics. Certain types of pneumothorax appear to run in families.
- Lung disease. Having an underlying lung disease — especially emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis and cystic fibrosis — makes a collapsed lung more likely.
- Mechanical ventilation. People who need mechanical ventilation to breathe effectively are at higher risk of pneumothorax.
- A history of pneumothorax. Anyone who has had one pneumothorax is at increased risk of another, usually within one to two years of the first episode. This may occur in the same lung or the opposite lung.
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