Clinical efficacy of omalizumab in an elderly veteran population with severe asthma

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Severe asthma in elderly patients is underdiagnosed, difficult to treat, and often accompanied by atopy. This study was designed to compare clinical outcomes of omalizumab therapy in an elderly veteran population with severe allergic asthma. A retrospective, observational data analysis was performed over 2 years. Cohort outcome measures 1 year before omalizumab therapy were compared with 1 year of active treatment. Statistical analysis included two sample t-tests. The total number of patients enrolled was 17 with median age of 60 years. Omalizumab therapy was associated with a significant reduction in acute asthma exacerbations requiring prednisone treatment (p < 0.01), a significant improvement in forced expiratory volume in 1 second of 0.28 L (p < 0.01), and significantly higher Asthma Control Test (ACT) scores at 3 (p = 0.043), 6 (p = 0.039), and 12 months of therapy (p < 0.01). Two of five patients on daily prednisone for >6 months were able to discontinue systemic steroid use within 3 months of omalizumab treatment. Our study suggests elderly patients with severe atopic asthma show a significant positive clinical response to omalizumab.

Keywords: Allergic asthma; asthma in elderly; atopic asthma; geriatric asthma; moderate asthma; omalizumab; severe asthma; veteran asthma; veteran population

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy–Immunology, Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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