|Andrzej Bożek, Jerzy Jarząb|
Introduction. Bronchial asthma in the elderly is a major public health
problem. However, it is usually under-diagnosed and under-treated in
that age group.
Aim. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and characteristics
of asthma in seniors in Poland.
Material and methods. The study was performed in 16 centers in Poland.
Seven thousand eighty four people over 60 years old were screened (interview,
skin prick tests, spirometry). In patients with an initial diagnosis
of asthma, detailed spirometry (BodyBox 5500, Medisoft, Belgium), skin
prick tests, as well as total and allergen-specific IgE were performed.
Results. Among 7,084 responders, diagnosis of asthma was confirmed
in 390 patients, 5.5% (95%CI: 5.0-6.2). The average age of patients was
68.7±9.2 years (61-103 years). The group comprised 221 women and
169 men. Late onset of asthma was confirmed in 70 (17.9%) patients.
The number of asthmatic patients was reduced to 347 subjects 4.9%
(95%CI: 4.5-5.3) after detailed spirometry tests. Eighty per cent of patients
were atopic. Allergy to house dust mites was dominant.
Conclusions. Asthma in the elderly is an important public health problem
in Poland. The dominant role of IgE-dependent mechanisms in old-age
asthma was confirmed.
keywords: astma, starzy ludzie, IgE, alergia, asthma, elderly people, IgE, allergy
pages: from 44 to 49
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