ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 1, 2014) Women over the age of 65 face numerous barriers to good health: an increased risk for obesity, greater struggles against poverty and higher rates of asthma with worse health outcomes. An article published in the August issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), outlines the challenges faced by older women in treating asthma, and offers practical solutions to improve their care.
"Allergists want older women to understand that getting their asthma under control can help them control a range of other adverse health conditions," said allergist Alan Baptist, MD, MPH, lead study author and ACAAI member. "Recent studies have shown that older women with multiple health problems admit that asthma takes a backseat to other conditions. We want them, with the help of their allergists, to view controlling their asthma as a priority."
The article points out that the asthma rate is no greater in older women than in other segments of the population, but that the amount of illness and death is much higher. The asthma death rate among women older than 65 is nearly four times higher than in other groups.
"There is no doubt that women over 65 suffer from asthma much more than men over 65" said allergist James Sublett, MD, ACAAI president-elect. "We hope that women with asthma will be encouraged by their primary care doctor to work with an allergist. Allergists are experts at creating personalized action plans to help patients identify triggers, and offer solutions for coping with asthma."
Some factors affecting the health of older women with asthma include:
Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) - The risk for women of developing asthma is not affected by menopause, but, in women with preexisting asthma, menopause tends to increase the number of their attacks.
|Contact: Hollis Heavenrich-Jones|
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology