Background: Due to the aging population, there is an increase in the number of elderly patients with asthma. Although signs and symptoms are similar to those in younger patients, diagnosis can be challenging due to presence of coexisting conditions in this population. Objectives: The purpose of this review was to highlight the challenges with regards to diagnosis, management, the high rates of medical costs and mortality in elderly asthmatics. Methods and Results: Scientific literature regarding asthma in the elderly population was reviewed. When compared to younger patients, elderly asthmatics have different drug responses, higher rates of bronchial hyper reactivity, more severe phenotype, and lower prevalence of atopy. In addition, there are issues with the adverse effects of asthma medications, use of proper inhaler technique and compliance. Conclusion: There is an unmet need for research in elderly patients with asthma, specifically to facilitate diagnosis, and to investigate therapeutic strategies to improve quality of life in this population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine