Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Older People: Breathing Deeper with Age
Pp. 107-127 (21)
Tuck Yean Yong
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.
Bronchodilators, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
Comorbidities, Corticosteroids, Diagnosis, Domiciliary oxygen, Management,
Older, Palliative care, Pulmonary rehabilitation, Smoking cessation, Spirometry.
Internal Medicine, Flinders Private Hospital, Flinders Drive, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia.