FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although older women with asthma often have worse health outcomes, they may not make asthma care a priority, according to a new study.
"There is no doubt that women over 65 suffer from asthma much more than men over 65," concluded Dr. James Sublett, an allergist and president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), in an organization news release.
In fact, the asthma death rate among women age 65 years and older is nearly four times higher than in other groups of people, the study's authors noted. And that's despite the fact that older women don't have higher rates of asthma than any other group.
"Allergists want older women to understand that getting their asthma under control can help them control a range of other adverse health conditions," the study's lead author and allergist, Dr. Alan Baptist, explained in an ACAAI news release.
"Recent studies have shown that older women with multiple health problems admit that asthma takes a backseat to other conditions. We want them, with the help of their allergists, to view controlling their asthma as a priority," Baptist said.
For older women who had asthma earlier in life, one contributing factor may be changes associated with menopause, the study's authors pointed out. Menopause may increase the frequency of asthma attacks for women with asthma, the researchers said.
Although women with asthma who begin hormone replacement therapy may experience an improvement in their asthma symptoms, previous studies have also shown that older women who do not have asthma who are on hormone replacement therapy may be at greater risk for the condition. The ACAAI researchers concluded that older women should consider all the possible risks and benefits of this form of treatment.
Older women with asthma should also consider their risk for osteoporosis. Older women who use inhalers (inhaled corticosteroids) to tre
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