High respiratory burden found in ageing population

(Medical Xpress)—People aged 85 years and over have a high burden of respiratory disease, according to new findings from Newcastle University.
The research has shed light on the health problems likely to be encountered by the ageing population.

The research, presented today (3 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society's annual Congress in Vienna, aimed to investigate the of at the extremes of the .

The analysis revealed that overall, 20% of men and 21% of women had either asthma or COPD. 59% of men and 50% of women showed when they undertook a spirometry test to measure lung function.

The initial results of the study suggest a significant burden of respiratory problems in a very .

People aged 85 years and over are the fastest growing age group worldwide. As many are more common in older people, ageing results in a higher number of people living with chronic conditions. (COPD) is one of the major illnesses affecting the elderly. As more people are living longer, it is likely that the number of cases of COPD will rise in the coming years.

Researchers from Newcastle University aimed to investigate the current burden of in the elderly population. The research, was conducted as part of the Newcastle 85+ study, a 5-year longitudinal study assessing and following the health and vitality of members of the general population from the year they reach 85 years of age. It is funded principally by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Dunhill Medical Trust.

The study includes comprehensive demographic, physiological, clinical and biological assessments of health and vitality. For this paper, the research team worked with 845 people aged 85 years and over from the UK.

Lead author, Therese Small, from the Freeman Hospital and Newcastle University in the UK, said: "These results are from the Newcastle 85+ Study, a major 5 year study looking at the health status of very elderly people. The results provide a novel insight into the future health care needs of this rapidly growing population.

"Over the next few years, it will be crucial for healthcare professionals to understand the problems the aging population will face and these preliminary results can help us prepare for a change in the way the elderly population are treated in the future."

Professor Tom Kirkwood, Associate Dean for Ageing at Newcastle University, and lead investigator of the Newcastle 85+ Study, said: "It's really essential to fill the current gaps in knowledge about the health of the fastest growing sector of the population, and these data on respiratory disease are a particularly important part of this effort".

Professor Andrew Fisher, from Newcastle University, who led the Respiratory theme of the study, said: "Our results confirm a significant prevalence of obstructive spirometry in the 85+ population, further evaluation of this unique dataset will allow us to examine how much of this is attributable to healthy ageing of the lungs and how much to the airways disease in this population of very old people."

More information: Presenting at the European Respiratory Society's annual Congress in Vienna : Abstract: Respiratory health at the extremes of the ageing population: Initial results of the UK Newcastle 85+ study

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Obama addresses West Africans on facts about Ebola

7 hours ago

President Barack Obama urged West Africans on Tuesday to wear gloves and masks when caring for Ebola patients or burying anyone who died of the disease. He also discouraged the traditional burial practice ...

Gluten-free diet benefits asymptomatic EmA+ adults

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Asymptomatic individuals with endomysial antibodies (EmA) benefit from a gluten-free diet (GFD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Another US health worker infected with Ebola

7 hours ago

A third American health worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus while working with patients in West Africa, the Christian missionary group SIM said Tuesday.

UN implores all countries to help on Ebola

9 hours ago

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is 'losing the battle' against Ebola, while U.N. officials implored all countries to quickly step up their response by contributing health experts ...

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

14 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

User comments