Undiagnosed asthma in older people: an underestimated problem

Med J Aust. 2005 Jul 4;183(S1):S20-2. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb06910.x.


WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW: Are older people with respiratory symptoms aware this could be asthma? Which explanations for undiagnosed asthma apply most commonly in older Australians with asthma? Can we improve awareness of asthma in older people with undiagnosed asthma? Is the possibility of asthma in older people firmly established on the general practitioners' radar screen? What reasons most often determine whether GPs perform spirometry in their practice? WHAT WE NEED TO DO: Conduct a representative population study to assess whether older Australians recognise respiratory symptoms as being asthma and are reporting these symptoms. Conduct and evaluate a pilot asthma health promotion program for older people. Conduct a controlled therapeutic trial of people with undiagnosed asthma to assess treatment benefits and produce treatment recommendations. Identify whether the prominence of asthma in older people can be brought to the attention of GPs. Analyse more carefully the issues associated with innovation of office spirometry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Asthma / classification
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • South Australia / epidemiology


  • Bronchodilator Agents