Background: The exponential increase of individuals aged >64 yrs is expected to impact the burden of asthma. We aimed to explore the level of asthma control in elderly subjects, and factors influencing it. Methods: A multicenter observational study was performed on consecutive patients >64 years old with a documented physician-diagnosis of asthma. Sixteen Italian centers were involved in this 6-month project. Findings: A total of 350 patients were enrolled in the study. More than one-third of elderly asthmatic patients, despite receiving GINA step 3-4 antiasthmatic therapy, had an Asthma Control Test score ≤ 19, with a quarter experiencing at least one severe asthma exacerbation in the previous year. Twenty-nine percent of patients (n Z 101) were classified as having Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS) due to the presence of chronic bronchitis and/or CO lung diffusion impairment. This subgroup of patients had lower mean Asthma Control Test scores and more exacerbations compared to the asthmatic patients (18 ± 4 compared to 20 ± 4, p < 0.01, and 43% compared to 18%, p < 0.01, respectively). Modified Medical Research Council dyspnea mMRC scores and airway obstruction, assessed on the basis of a FEV1/FVC ratio below the lower limit of normal, were more severe in ACOS than in asthma, without any difference in responses to salbutamol. In a multivariate analysis, the mMRC dyspnea score, FEV1% of predicted and the coexistence of COPD were the only variables to enter the model. Interpretation: Our results highlight the need to specifically evaluate the coexistence of features of COPD in elderly asthmatics, a factor that worsens asthma control.
Asthma control in elderly asthmatics. An italian observational study / M. Milanese; F. Di Marco; AG. Corsico; G. Rolla; B. Sposato; F. Chieco- Bianchi; MT. Costantino; MA Crivellaro; G. Guarnieri; N. Scichilone; F. Agusta; M. Caminati; G. Liccardi; C. Lombardi; M. Marchi; E. Mereu; G. Passalacqua; F. Reccardini; E. Ridolo; G. Senna; G. Steinhilber; A. Vianello. - In: RESPIRATORY MEDICINE. - ISSN 0954-6111. - (2014), pp. 1091-1099. [10.1016/j.rmed.2014.05.016]