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Asthma in older adults: a holistic, person-centred and problem-oriented approach

Guy B Marks, Leanne M Poulos, Christine R Jenkins and Peter G Gibson
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (4): 197-199.
Published online: 17 August 2009

Regardless of how obstructive lung disease is labelled, targeting treatment to components of the problem is the best solution

Three-quarters of deaths due to asthma in Australia occur among people aged 55 years or older.1,2 Many more deaths and hospitalisations in older people are attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).2 Between 1997 and 2003, 318 deaths per year were attributed to asthma and 5581 deaths per year were attributed to COPD among Australians aged 55 and over.2 How can we do better than we are now in dealing with this problem?

  • Guy B Marks1
  • Leanne M Poulos1
  • Christine R Jenkins1,2
  • Peter G Gibson1,3

  • 1 Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Department of Thoracic Medicine, Concord Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Hunter Medical Research Institute, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW.

Correspondence: g.marks@unsw.edu.au

Competing interests:

Guy Marks is Director of the Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing through the National Asthma Management Program. The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research has received grants from GlaxoSmithKline Australia, AstraZeneca, Pfizer Australia and Boehringer Ingelheim, and Guy Marks has received an allocation of this funding to support research personnel and research studies. The Woolcock Institute has also received payments from GlaxoSmithKline Australia for seminars given by Guy Marks, and he has undertaken contract research (data analysis) on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline Australia. Peter Gibson has received speaker fees and honoraria for preparing and delivering educational lectures in symposia sponsored by the American Thoracic Society, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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