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Free Content Asthma pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management in the elderly

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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.


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.


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.

Keywords: Asthma; aging; airway inflammation; allergens; elderly; epigenetics; geriatrics; immune mechanisms; infections

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2017-05-01

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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