Cold: here are the risk factors

Some factors, such as cold, crowded places and stress, even if they do not directly cause colds, can favor their appearance.

The cause of colds is a virus. But there are some factors that can favor its onset.

At the origin of every cold, it is good to clarify it, there is a virus. A rhinovirus, to be precise. The problem is that some conditions can favor its penetration into the cells of the upper respiratory system, and therefore infection.

The cold

The mechanism by which cold viruses infect us also explains why we get sick more in the cold season.

The mechanism by which cold viruses infect us also explains why we get sick more in the cold season.

The cold, in fact, is not the triggering agent of the disease, nor does it make the virus in question more aggressive, but prevents our body from defending itself adequately because it slows down the movement of hair cells and, consequently, mucus, thus facilitating the penetration of cold viruses.

When the air is too cold, the eyelashes cannot move as they should and the ideal conditions are created for the onset of viral infection.

Crowded places

During the cold season we spend much more time indoors, perhaps crowded, where the virus can be transmitted more easily.

The cold is in fact one of the most contagious diseases known so far; And being in crowded places certainly facilitates contagion.

For this reason, children who attend nurseries and schools are more prone to colds.


Just as it is not the cold that causes colds, neither is stress. Yet, perhaps even more than low temperatures and humidity, it makes our body more vulnerable to cold viruses.

A research, carried out by the University of Maastricht (Netherlands) and published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, has shown, for example, that excessive tension in the office increases the possibility of getting sick with colds, flu and gastroenteritis by up to 20%.

Weak immune system

There is a variety of situations and circumstances in which our immune system is not at its best, thus increasing the risk of contracting a cold, but, above all, of incurring its complications.

Infants, for example, in the first 4 to 6 weeks of life are at high risk for colds or other infections because their immune system is functionally immature.

It is true that when babies are born they are still partially protected by the antibodies they received from the mother through the placenta, but there are many germs from which they are not protected.

Even the elderly, and people weakened by serious diseases such as AIDS, which itself alters the immune system, or patients on chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy, are at high risk of contracting colds and developing complications.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *