Digestive Health

Updated 03 May 2017

Risk factors for diarrhoea

Here are some of the most prevalent risk factors associated with diarrhoea.


Those are namely: 

Age: Diarrhoea in children aged three years or younger can be highly dangerous, as they are particularly vulnerable to dehydration. Newborns to two-month-old babies are at highest risk. Elderly patients are also vulnerable to dehydration.

Environment: Poor sanitation and hygiene
Medications: Antibiotics
Co morbidities: Diabetes, kidney disease and history of intussusceptions.

Read more: 

What is diarrhoea?

How can diarrhoea be treated?

Causes of diarrhoea  

Revised and reviewed by Dr Saville Furman, MBChB MFGP (SA). Family Physician, Part time lecturer in family medicine and primary care at UCT, Red Cross Children’s Hospital and Groote Schuur hospital, Cape Town. February 2015.

Previously reviewed by Dr Naayil Rajabally MBBCh (Wits), FCP (SA), Cert Gastroenterology (Phys) Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital. Updated, October 2011


Ask the Expert

Digestive Health Expert

Dr. Estelle Wilken is a Senior Specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Tygerberg Hospital. She obtained her MBChB in 1976, her MMed (Int) in 1991 and her gastroenterology registration in 1995.

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