Asthma in the elderly: current knowledge and future directions.

Link to article at PubMed

Asthma in the elderly: current knowledge and future directions.

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2009 Oct 19;

Authors: King MJ, Hanania NA

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Asthma is a common disease in the older population that is frequently undiagnosed and undertreated. We will review the current knowledge of asthma in the elderly (AIE) and shed light on the diagnostic and management challenges outlining needs for future research. RECENT FINDINGS: There has been very little original research in the field of AIE published in the last few years, and current literature focuses primarily on a series of review articles. AIE often presents with multiple comorbidities, which complicates its course and management. There is renewed interest in nonallergic (intrinsic) asthma. T helper cell 1 inflammation triggered by respiratory infection, superantigens, proteases and interleukin 17 are possible mechanisms. An association between systemic inflammation in frailty and asthma may also be important. SUMMARY: The diagnosis and treatment of AIE requires that the individual patient and his or her specific triggers and the likely pathophysiology be understood. Understanding the mechanisms of inflammation in this population is key to improved therapeutic interventions.

PMID: 19844181 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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