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Asthma in the geriatric population

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Asthma is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in the geriatric population. Despite the rising incidence of asthma in people >65 years of age, the diagnosis is frequently missed in this population. Factors that contribute to this include respiratory changes caused by aging, immunosenescence, lack of symptoms, polypharmacy, clinician unawareness, and lack of evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis and management that target this population. This literature review addresses the current state of research in this area. Age-related changes influence the pathophysiology and role of allergy in elderly asthmatic patients. Specific obstacles encountered in caring for these patients are discussed. Asthma in the elderly and younger population are compared. We conclude with a broad set of goals to guide future management driven by a multidiscipline approach.
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Keywords: Aging; allergy; asthma; elderly; guidelines; immunosenescence; multidiscipline approach; pathophysiology; polypharmacy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Nassau University Medical Center, an affiliation of North Shore Long Island Jewish Health Care System, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, USA

Publication date: 01 September 2013

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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