Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2022 , Vol 25, Issue 2
1Ankara University School of Medicine, Department of Chest Diseases, Ankara, Turkey DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2022.277 Introduction: Dyspnea, chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma are common in the elderly population. Because of difficulties in diagnostic testing, overdiagnosis of certain diseases is very frequent in this age group.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate dyspneic elderly patients diagnosed with obstructive lung disease and had a treatment without a relief.

Methods: Subjects over 65 years of age previously diagnosed with an obstructive lung disease with chronic dyspnea were evaluated. Sociodemographic data, history of exposure, diagnosis, and treatment were recorded. After the physical examination, the subjects underwent respiratory function tests and radiological and blood investigations. In addition to the previous diagnoses, a differential diagnosis of dyspnea was made.

Results: A total of 262 subjects over 65 years of age with chronic dyspnea were recruited. Two hundred subjects completed the steps of the study. Fiftyseven percent were women and 43% were men. Seventy percent of patients were diagnosed with chronic obstructive lung disease and 30% had asthma. All the patients received treatment for these diseases. Despite the medication, patients had various modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) levels of dyspnea (15.5% mMRC1, 74.5% mMRC2, 6.5% mMRC3, and 3.5% mMRC4). After diagnostic evaluation, a previous diagnosis of COPD or asthma was confirmed in 36.4% and 28.3% of the subjects, respectively (p<0.001).

Conclusion: The geriatric population had an overdiagnosis of chronic obstructive lung disease and/or asthma. Diagnostic procedures are essential for evaluating dyspnea in the elderly as well as in all age groups. Keywords : Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; Asthma; Dyspnea; Geriatrics; Diagnostic Errors