Features of asthma in the elderly

J Asthma. 2001 Aug;38(5):377-89. doi: 10.1081/jas-100000259.


Asthma has been considered a rare disease in the elderly, but recent studies have shown that it is as common in the elderly as in the middle-aged population. Diagnosis of asthma is often overlooked in older patients, leading to undertreatment. Spirometry, determination of expiratory flow lability, and histamine challenge tests are tools that are as usefulfor the evaluation of elderly asthmatics as they areforyoungerpatients. Asthma is more severe in the elderly, especially in long-standing asthmatics. Treatment of asthma in the elderly should follow the same stepwise guidelines that are recommended for all age groups, though it will require more intense monitoring. An aggressive treatment approach to mild and moderate asthma in young people is the best hope of changing the future trends of asthma in the elderly.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Spirometry


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents