The predictors of poorly controlled asthma in elderly

Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2012 Sep;4(5):270-6. doi: 10.4168/aair.2012.4.5.270. Epub 2012 Mar 27.


Purpose: To evaluate asthma control in elderly individuals and identify the factors that predict poor control.

Methods: A retrospective, observational study evaluating 108 elderly individuals with asthma (59 females: ≥60 years, mean age: 70.5 years) was conducted at Ajou University Hospital from October 2010 to March 2011. Subjects were classified into two groups according to scores on the asthma control test (ACT). Group I consisted of 38 patients with ACT scores ≤19 (poor controllers) and group II included 70 patients with ACT scores >19 (controllers). Clinical data was analyzed. Spirometry was performed, and the ACT and asthma quality-of-life survey were completed. Medication possession ratios were calculated to evaluate compliance.

Results: Of the 108 enrolled subjects, 54.6% were female, 7.5% were obese, and 49.0% were atopic. The mean age of the patients was 70.5, and the average of time patients had suffered from asthma was 15.5 years. Comorbid conditions were found in more than 80% of the patients. Allergic rhinitis was most common comorbid condition; this was followed by cardiovascular disease and degenerative arthritis (76.9%, 65.7%, and 51.9%, respectively). Many patients (35.2%) were in poorly controlled states characterized by significantly lower asthma quality of life scores (P<0.001) and higher admission rates (P=0.034). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that a history of pulmonary tuberculosis was a predictor of poorly controlled asthma in elderly individuals even after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, lung function and other comorbidities (OR=4.70, CI=1.06-20.81, P=0.042).

Conclusions: The asthma of more than one-third of elderly individuals with this condition was poorly controlled, and a history of pulmonary tuberculosis may have contributed to this outcome. Proper evaluation and management of comorbid conditions in elderly patients with asthma is essential for the achievement of better control of the disease and a higher quality of life for those who suffer from it.

Keywords: Aged; asthma; asthma control; predictor; pulmonary tuberculosis; quality of life.