Objective: To examine the effect of age of onset on clinical characteristics and outcomes in a cohort of older patients with long-standing (LSA) and late-onset asthma (LOA). Methods: In all, 452 patients 60 years of age and older with persistent asthma were recruited. We defined LOA as asthma developing at age 40 or later and LSA as developing before age 40. We compared airway obstruction as assessed by spirometry, as well as asthma control using the Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ), quality of life using the Mini Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ), and asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations among patients with LSA vs. LOA. Results: Patients with LOA, were less likely to have FEV1 <70% of predicted (23% vs. 40%, p = 0.0002), to have FEV1/FVC<0.7 (27% vs. 38%, p = 0.01), or to have been intubated in the past (5% vs. 14%, p = 0.0007), and were also less likely to report a history of allergic conditions (64% vs 76%, p = 0.007). There was no significant difference in the level of asthma control, quality of life, or health care utilization. Conclusions: Older adults with LOA have different clinical and physiological characteristics and outcomes compared to those with LSA. Some of these differences may represent sequelae of longstanding disease, however LOA may also represent a different clinical phenotype that could influence management approaches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine