Prevalence and Correlates of Respiratory Symptoms and Disease in the Elderly: Predictors of Respiratory Symptoms

Never-smoking elderly women report more chronic cough but less chronic phlegm than never-smoking elderly men. However, the multivariate model shows that there is no significant gender difference in chronic cough when smoking status and lung function are taken into consideration. The gender difference in chronic phlegm remains in the multivariate model and has also been reported in population studies of middle-aged adults. This finding may be due to biased ascertainment since women believe that coughing up sputum is less socially acceptable than do men. On the other hand, elderly women from our cohort more frequently report DOE than elderly men, as seen in studies of younger adults.
Current cigarette smoking is the major factor predicting chronic cough and chronic sputum in our elderly cohort, as reported by studies of younger subjects. Coronary heart disease was also weakly associated with chronic phlegm production. Lebow-itz et al found that pack-years of smoking, a history of acute respiratory tract infections, and a family history of lung disease were the best predictors of chronic cough in a logistic regression model Click Here asthma inhalers. An index of socioeconomic status (crowded living and occupation) was an independent predictor of chronic cough and phlegm in men in an Italian study, but education and income were not independent predictors in our model.
While dyspnea was reported by women more frequently than men by other studies, as well in our own univariate analyses, after correcting for the presence of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, age, pulmonary function, and hip and waist size (obesity), elderly women were no more likely to report grade 3 exertional dyspnea than were elderly men. Even within our limited age range, as in studies of middle-aged adults, older persons reported dyspnea more frequently than younger persons in our model.

This entry was posted in Pulmonary Function and tagged abnormality rates, elderly, respiratory symptoms.