Depression and Emotional Well-being Affect Seniors’ Asthma Related Control and Quality of Life

Depression and emotional well-being greatly affect asthma control and quality of life for the approximately 2 million adults over 65 who have been diagnosed with asthma, according to a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting in Boston, Nov. 3-8.

Researchers assessed the quality of life of 70 participants over the age of 65 who had been diagnosed with asthma. Quality of life measures included the number of asthma attacks and unscheduled physician visits within 12 months, self-reported depression, body mass index and confidence in managing their asthma.

The study showed depression and poorer physical and emotional status were associated with lower quality of life for participants in addition to the traditional indicators of poor asthma control.

“A more integrative approach is necessary in treating older adults with asthma,” says allergist Jacqueline Ross, MD, ACAAI member. “If we treat the physical aspects of the disease as well as the psychological and social aspects, we may find greater success in asthma control and improved quality of life for seniors.”

By the numbers: Of the nearly 25 million Americans with asthma, more than 2.5 million are 65 or older. In 2009, more than 1 million of them had an asthma attack or episode.

Source:American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

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