Recent Advances in Geriatric Medicine

Volume: 1

Chronic Diseases in Geriatric Patients

Indexed in: EBSCO.

The incidence of multiple chronic diseases affecting a single individual is common among elderly patients. This incidence is believed to be associated with a decline in many health outcomes, ...
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Older People: Breathing Deeper with Age

Pp. 107-127 (21)

Tuck Yean Yong

Abstract

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common chronic diseases in older people. COPD in the older population is a challenging disorder to diagnose and manage because of several unique age-related aspects. Agerelated changes in pulmonary function can predispose older people to increased risk of mortality and other complications from COPD. The established Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease criteria can be applied effectively to older people with COPD. This approach requires the use of spirometry which can be performed satisfactorily in most older patients. Treatments that are effective to reduce acute respiratory exacerbations include smoking cessation, vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcus, and the use of short- and long-acting bronchodilators. Other beneficial management strategies for COPD in older adults include pulmonary rehabilitation, domiciliary oxygen and noninvasive positive airway pressure when indicated. Care should also be focused on common comorbidities associated with COPD as these can often complicate the health of older people.

Keywords:

Bronchodilators, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Comorbidities, Corticosteroids, Diagnosis, Domiciliary oxygen, Management, Older, Palliative care, Pulmonary rehabilitation, Smoking cessation, Spirometry.

Affiliation:

Internal Medicine, Flinders Private Hospital, Flinders Drive, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia.