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Female baby boomers with asthma? You may need help
Date:7/31/2014

Some studies have shown that postmenopausal women receiving HRT had an increased risk of asthma. At the same time, in women with preexisting asthma, HRT is often associated with improved respiratory symptoms and decreased asthma attacks. Older women with asthma need to consider the potential risks and benefits of HRT.

Risk of adverse effects of inhalers Because postmenopausal women treated for asthma with inhalers (also known as inhaled corticosteroids) have significantly lower bone mineral density, they are at additional risk for osteoporosis. Other effects of inhalers, such as glaucoma, cataracts and adrenal suppression, are also more common in older women and should be evaluated. Incorrect inhaler use is common among elderly patients, but an asthma educator can teach more than 90 percent of older adults how to properly use one. Because inhalers are the best treatment for asthma, ask your allergist about working with an asthma educator.

Depression More severe asthma can cause a greater risk and severity of depression. Women over 65 have been shown to have rates of depression ranging from 15 percent to 35 percent. As treatment of depression among asthma patients shows improved asthma outcomes, women should discuss screening and treatment for depression with their physicians.

Perception of Breathlessness An important tool for preventing the progression of an asthma attack is early intervention and treatment. Since some baby boomers have a diminished awareness of how well or poorly they are breathing, and seem to have a harder time overcoming their perception of breathlessness, self-monitoring with a peak flow meter is strongly recommended during an asthma attack.

Additional conditions affecting older women and their management of asthma include being obese or overweight; caregiving roles a woman might have that hamper self-care; and limited income or poverty which can limitability to follow recommend
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Contact: Hollis Heavenrich-Jones
hollisheavenrich-jones@acaai.org
847-427-1200
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Source:Eurekalert

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