Updated 25 July 2018

Risk factors for gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is a common disease that occurs worldwide. Certain factors increase one's risk.

The risk factors for gastroenteritis include:

  • Age. Infants and young children are at increased risk due to their immature immune systems; the elderly are at increased risk due to weakened immune systems.
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system due to an illness such as HIV/AIDS or cancer, or its treatment (e.g. chemotherapy).
  • Living in crowded areas.
  • Travelling (especially to areas where water and/or food may be contaminated).

The risk for getting gastroenteritis is also higher in winter.

Reviewed by Kim Hofmann, registered dietitian, BSc Medical (Honours) Nutrition and Dietetics, BSc (Honours) Psychology. December 2017.