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KH Lee, NK Chin, TK Lim
Correspondence: Dr T K Lim, firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective To determine the severity of asthma in the elderly compared to the younger asthmatics.
Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting University outpatient asthma clinic.
Subjects Asthmatics seen over a 6 month period in 1997.
Results There were 154 patients and 16% were elderly (> 65 years) asthmatics. The elderly asthmatics were on significantly more anti-asthmatic medications (2.3 +/- 1.1 vs. 1.6 +/- 0.9, p < 0.001), and their clinical severity was significantly worse than their younger counterparts (Step 2.2 +/- 1.2 vs. 1.7 +/- 1.0, p < 0.001). Near-fatal asthma episodes were also more common in the elderly asthmatics (39% vs 13%, chi 2 test p < 0.01).
Conclusion Elderly asthmatics appear to have more severe asthma as evidenced by the increase in near-fatal episodes, and their increased clinical severity.
Keywords: asthma, elderly, near fatal
Singapore Med J 2000; 41(12): 579-581