Aging can affect asthma in terms of exacerbations, clinical and inflammatory characteristics, and response to treatment, according to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. Gang Wang, MD, PhD, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study of patients with asthma in a real word setting with a 12-month follow-up period. Future risk for exacerbations; clinical, inflammatory, and phenotypic characteristics; and response to treatment were examined across age groups (young: 18-39. middle-aged: 40-64; and elderly: 65 and older). Elderly patients with asthma (N=55) had more comorbidities (such as diabetes and COPD),
had worse airway obstruction, less atopy, and were more likely to have late onset and fixed airflow obstruction asthma, compared with middle-aged (N=179) and young (N=106) patients with asthma. Elderly patients with asthma also had considerably increased levels of IL8, IFN-γ, and IL-17A in induced sputum (all P<0.05). Additionally, elderly patients exhibited a decreased response to treatment.