HealthDay News — Asthma mortality among women aged 65 years and older is four times higher compared with other groups, according to research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Older women face increased challenges managing the disease. After reviewing the associated risks for older female patients diagnosed with asthma, Alan P. Baptist, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues outlined practical solutions to improve care.

The asthma rate is no greater in older women than in other segments of the population, but the rates of comorbid illnesses and asthma-related death are much higher compared with other groups.

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An increased risk of osteoporosis, glaucoma, cataracts, and adrenal suppression in older women using inhalers; an increased rate of depression and more severe depression with severe asthma; and a diminished awareness of breathlessness are common among women with asthma. Menopause tends to increase the number of asthma exacerbations.

“Allergists want older women to understand that getting their asthma under control can help them control a range of other adverse health conditions,” the researchers said in a statement.


  1. Baptist A et al. Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. 2014; doi:

Disclosure: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.