TableĀ 1

Common pitfalls in diagnosing asthma in the elderly

PitfallIs it useful in diagnosing asthma?CommentsRef.
Absence of reversibilityNoElderly asthmatics may develop fixed airflow limitation[24]
Impaired DLCOYesDLCO should be normal in asthmatics[27]
SmokingNoUnfortunately, asthmatic patients do not avoid smoking[26]
DisabilityNoPresence of disability is not confined to COPD[25]
Absence of allergyNoElderly asthmatics often are nonatopic[30, 31]
Presence of allergyPossiblyIf associated with a long disease duration[25, 30]
Long disease durationPossiblyAsthma starting in young age does persist[24]