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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

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Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Monday, May 07, 2012

Asthma often misdiagnosed in older Americans


People over 65 also have asthma and often face an uphill health battle as a result, a new study suggests. Once hospitalized, these individuals are 14 times more likely to die from asthma than younger adults. What's more, asthma increases their risk for impaired lung function and a worse quality of life.
Part of the reason for the poor outcomes is that asthma is often misdiagnosed and undertreated among older adults. When an older person becomes short of breath or has tightness in their chest, they -- as well as their doctors -- may attribute it to age, being out of shape, or even to their heart, instead of asthma.
According to the study, just 53% of older adults with asthma reported using a steroid inhaler in the past month. Inhaled steroids are the standard treatment used to control asthma.

The study included 77 people aged 60 and older with and without asthma. Of these, 89% of people with asthma also had allergies to allergens including mold, animals, and dust mites. Individuals with asthma were also more likely to report poor health and body pain compared to those without asthma. Hay fever, arthritis, and diabetes were also more common among people with asthma, the study shows.

The findings appear in the May issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

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