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Asthma Over 65: A Disease about which Little is known 

Asthma Over 65: A Disease about which Little is known
Chapter:
Asthma Over 65: A Disease about which Little is known
Author(s):

Chelle Pope

, Richard D. deShazo

, and Monroe James King

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199918065.003.0032
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date: 14 April 2021

With the worldwide increase in the older population and the growing prevalence of asthma, it is no surprise that asthma in the elderly is also an increasing problem. Insufficient data exist to make firm conclusions on many important issues about this condition. Seniors with asthma often have coexisting and comorbid conditions, and the combination of age and illness has precluded, in general, their participation in clinical trials. Other important variables in this population include differences in perception, interpretation, and response to the symptoms of airway obstruction. Many patients mistakenly believe that wheeze and dyspnea are normal, and they commonly decrease their activity, a response that can induce further social isolation and a decreased quality of life. Coupled with the challenge of misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis are the potential problems associated with side effects from medications, drug–drug interactions, problems appropriately using medications, and compliance. This chapter identifies the prevalence of asthma, which affects decisions about therapy, and the important questions in this age group yet to be answered.

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