Asthma in the elderly: What we know and what we have yet to know

Anahí Yáñez, Sang Hoen Cho, Joan B. Soriano, Lanny J. Rosenwasser, Gustavo J. Rodrigo, Klaus F. Rabe, Stephen Peters, Akio Niimi, Dennis K. Ledford, Rohit Katial, Leonardo M. Fabbri, Juan C. Celedón, Giorgio Walter Canonica, Paula Busse, Louis Phillippe Boulet, Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani, Qutayba Hamid, Claus Bachert, Ruby Pawankar, Stephen T. Holgate

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


In the past, asthma was considered mainly as a childhood disease. However, asthma is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly nowadays. In addition, the burden of asthma is more significant in the elderly than in their younger counterparts, particularly with regard to mortality, hospitalization, medical costs or health-related quality of life. Nevertheless, asthma in the elderly is still been underdiagnosed and undertreated. Therefore, it is an imperative task to recognize our current challenges and to set future directions. This project aims to review the current literature and identify unmet needs in the fields of research and practice for asthma in the elderly. This will enable us to find new research directions, propose new therapeutic strategies, and ultimately improve outcomes for elderly people with asthma. There are data to suggest that asthma in older adults is phenotypically different from young patients, with potential impact on the diagnosis, assessment and management in this population. The diagnosis of AIE in older populations relies on the same clinical findings and diagnostic tests used in younger populations, but the interpretation of the clinical data is more difficult. The challenge today is to encourage new research in AIE but to use the existing knowledge we have to make the diagnosis of AIE, educate the patient, develop a therapeutic approach to control the disease, and ultimately provide a better quality of life to our elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 May 2014


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