Perception of bronchoconstriction in elderly asthmatics.
ABSTRACT The impaired perception of bronchoconstriction in asthmatic patients may increase the risk of severe exacerbation. To characterize the perception of bronchoconstriction in elderly asthma patients, we compared the perception in older patients with that of younger patients. To determine the influence of perception of long-standing diseases, we further evaluated the perception in early-onset elderly asthma patients and in late-onset elderly asthma patients. The study group consisted of 80 stable asthmatic patients. The patients were grouped according to their age (group 1, < 60 years, n = 37, group 2, > or = 60 years, n = 43). Each group was separated into two subgroups according to the duration of symptoms (late-onset asthma 1A and 2A, < 5 years, early-onset asthma 1B and 2B, > or = 5 years). A histamine inhalation test was performed for each patient. Dyspnea was assessed by modified Borg scale. The Borg score in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) reduction by 20% was determined as perception score 20 (PS20). The mean perception scores of the elderly asthmatic patients were significantly lower than those of the younger asthmatic patients (group 1, PS20 = 2.35 +/- 0.17; group 2, PS20 = 1.37 +/- 0.12, p < 0.0001). The differences of mean perception score (PS20) between early- and late-onset subgroups were insignificant (IA, 2.63 +/- 0.30 and IB, 2.07 +/- 0.16, p = 0.101; 2A, 1.36 +/- 0.19 and 2B, 1.59 +/- 0.120, p = 0.91). The mean perception scores of male asthmatic patients were significantly lower than those of female patients (p = 0.03). There was a correlation between PS20 and % FEV1 in the younger group (r = 0.392, p = 0.02), but not in the elderly group (r = 139, p = 0.375). The correlation between PS20 and PD20 in both younger and elderly group was insignificant (p > 0.05). Elderly asthmatics perceive less intense respiratory distress for a decrease of 20% in FEV1 than do younger asthmatics. This underperception of bronchoconstriction may result in a delay in medical care during an acute asthmatic episode. Thus, we strongly recommend that elderly asthmatic patients should be followed up more frequently and closely.
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ABSTRACT: A significant number of older asthmatics, more often than in previous ages, have poorly controlled asthma, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, current guidelines suggest that most asthmatics can obtain achievement and maintenance of disease control and do not include sections specific to the management of asthma in the elderly so that it is more evident the contrast between poor control of asthma in the elderly and the lack of specific guidance from guidelines on asthma management in older asthmatics. Inhaled corticosteroids are the cornerstone for older asthmatics, eventually with add-on inhaled long-acting beta-agonists; inhaled short acting beta-agonists can be used as rescue medications. Triggers exacerbating asthma are similar for all ages, but inhaled viruses and drug interactions have greater clinical significance in the elderly. Older asthmatics have an increased likelihood of comorbidities and polypharmacy, with possible worsening of asthma control and reduced treatment adherence. Physicians and older asthmatics probably either do not perceive or accept a poor asthma control. We conclude that specific instruments addressed to evaluate asthma control in the elderly with concomitant comorbidities and measurements for improving self-management and adherence could assure better disease control in older asthmatics.Clinical Interventions in Aging 01/2013; 8:913-22. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Asthma is a disease of all ages. This assumption has been challenged in the past, because of several cultural and scientific biases. A large body of evidence has accumulated in recent years to confirm that the prevalence of asthma in the most advanced ages is similar to that in younger ages. Asthma in the elderly may show similar functional and clinical characteristics to that occurring in young adults, although the frequent coexistence of comorbid conditions in older patients, together with age-associated changes in the human lung, may lead to more severe forms of the disease. Management of asthma in the elderly follows specific guidelines that apply to all ages, although most behaviors are pure extrapolation of what has been tested in young ages. In fact, age has always represented an exclusion criterion for eligibility to clinical trials. This review focuses specifically on the safety and efficacy of leukotriene modifiers, which represent a valid option in the treatment of allergic asthma, both as an alternative to first-line drugs and as add-on treatment to inhaled corticosteroids. Available studies specifically addressing the role of montelukast in the elderly are scarce; however, leukotriene modifiers have been demonstrated to be safe in this age group, even though cases of acute hepatitis and occurrence of Churg-Strauss syndrome have been described in elderly patients; whether this is associated with age is to be confirmed. Furthermore, leukotriene modifiers provide additional benefit when added to regular maintenance therapy, not differently from young asthmatics. In elderly patients, the simpler route of administration of leukotriene modifiers, compared with the inhaled agents, could represent a more effective strategy in improving the outcomes of asthma therapy, given that unintentional nonadherence with inhalation therapy represents a complex problem that may lead to significant impairment of asthma symptom control.Clinical Interventions in Aging 01/2013; 8:1329-1337. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Asthma Control Test (ACT) score is widely used in asthma clinics, particularly with the recent emphasis on achievement and maintenance of optimal asthma control. However, this self-assessment score does not always correspond with lung function parameters, leading to uncertainty about each patient's control status; therefore, we investigated the clinical characteristics that are associated with discrepant correlation between the ACT score and pulmonary function. The 252 adult asthmatic subjects were divided into 5 groups according to their changes in FEV1% predicted values and ACT scores between 2 consecutive visits three months apart. The data were retrospectively reviewed and several clinical variables were compared. Elderly, non-eosinophilic, non-atopic asthma patients were more likely to show paradoxical changes of pulmonary function and ACT score. Female patients were prone to report exaggerated changes of ACT score compared with baseline lung function and changes in FEV1 levels. This group was using more medications for rhinosinusitis. Male patients seemed less sensitive to changes in lung function. From these findings, we conclude that when assessing asthma control status, physicians should carefully consider patient age, gender, atopy status, blood eosinophil levels, and comorbidities along with their ACT scores and pulmonary function test results.Allergy, asthma & immunology research 01/2015; 7(1):83-7. · 3.08 Impact Factor