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Asthma, More Deadly With Age, Takes Heavy Toll On Older Adults (Often goes undiagnosed)

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  • Asthma, More Deadly With Age, Takes Heavy Toll On Older Adults (Often goes undiagnosed)

    http://khn.org/news/asthma-more-dead...-older-adults/
    Asthma, More Deadly With Age, Takes Heavy Toll On Older Adults

    By Judith Graham August 10, 2017

    ... Death rates for older adults with asthma are five times that of younger patients, according to a new review of asthma among seniors. And medical complications are more common.
    As the prevalence of asthma climbs in people 65 and older, more seniors will grapple with its long-term impact. Estimates vary, but up to 9 percent of older adults are thought to have asthma — a respiratory condition that inflames the lungs and interferes with breathing.
    With the advance of years, physical changes take a toll. People’s lungs become less elastic, their chest walls more rigid, and the muscles that help power the respiratory system less strong, exacerbating breathing problems, explained Dr. Michael Wechsler, a professor of medicine and co-director of the Cohen Family Asthma Institute at National Jewish Health, and co-author of the new review.
    Compromised vision, fine motor coordination and cognition can make it difficult for seniors to use inhalers correctly. Fewer than half of older adults with asthma do so, some research suggests, and many people on fixed incomes can’t afford these expensive medications, which can cost up to $300 a month.

    ...
    “Older adults have a tendency to ignore difficulties with breathing,” noted Dr. Rachel Taliercio, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Instead of thinking this could be asthma, they think, ‘I’m overweight, I’m out of shape, I’m getting older, and this is normal at this time of life.’”
    Physicians can be slow to recognize asthma as well. “In the elderly, sometimes the only manifestation of asthma is shortness of breath and a cough,” said Dr. Kaiser Lim, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “But some primary care doctors kind of shrug off these symptoms.”...
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
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