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Why Do More Older Adults Die From Asthma Than Other Age Groups?

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Why do more older adults die from asthma than other age groups?

Why do more older adults die from asthma than other age groups?

Well, there are many children that have asthma, but a lot of them actually get better with age. It's very common, actually, for young children and toddlers to have more transient episodes of asthma or wheezing based upon viral upper respiratory infections that just tends to improve as they go through school age and adolescence.

But by the time somebody is an adult, if they continue to have persistent asthma or adult onset asthma, often times that indicates that they have a different type of asthma that may affect children. So, there may be different types of inflammatory cells causing their asthma. They may have different triggers as well. And then also, by the time that adulthood sets in there are often other comorbid conditions that can increase asthma severity and the frequency of symptoms or can make people more prone to have severe exacerbations when their asthma does flare up.

It's really important for anybody, especially adults out there, if you have asthma, visit with your doctor routinely, even if you're feeling well. We have new treatments that are coming available all the time. There are excellent non-steroid treatments if people are afraid of using inhaled corticosteroid for some reason. We have biologics which are individualized, you know, tailored therapy towards somebody's specific type of inflammation. But bottom line is we can get your asthma under control. And that's where board-certified allergist and immunologist can come into play as well. We love helping people identify the triggers, better control their asthma and live a healthy and safe and productive life.

Answered by

David Stukus, MD, is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Director of the Food Allergy Treatment Center, and Associate Director of the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is board certified in allergy/immunology and pediatrics.

Dr. Stukus has devoted his career to communicating evidence-based medicine and best clinical practice to colleagues, medical professionals of all backgrounds, patients, and the general public. In addition to providing clinical care for children with all types of allergic conditions, he participates in clinical research, quality improvement, patient advocacy, and medical education.

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