Information paper

Asthma & the Over 65s

This information paper outlines the importance of considering the possibility of adult-onset asthma in people aged 65 years and over with dyspnoea, wheeze or cough, even if they have no previous diagnosis of asthma.


This information paper was prepared in consultation with the following health professionals:

  • Associate Professor Hubertus Jersmann, respiratory and sleep physician
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Kingsley Coulthard, pharmacist
  • Dr Vanessa McDonald, respiratory nurse
  • Dr Chris Worsnop, respiratory physician
  • Dr Alan Wright, general practitioner
  • Ms Karalyn Huxhagen, pharmacist
  • Ms Judy Murrels, asthma educator

And with the assistance of Ms Jenni Harman, medical writer.

The National Asthma Council Australia also wishes to thank: Professor Peter Frith, respiratory physician.

Supported through funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Recommended citation:

National Asthma Council Australia
Asthma and the Over 65s - An information paper for health professionals.
Melbourne, National Asthma Council Australia, 2013.

Patient brochure

A corresponding version of this information paper has been developed for people with asthma and their carers: Asthma & Older Adults - A guide to living with asthma for people aged 65 years and over.


Printed copies of our resources, including this information paper and patient brochure, can be ordered by clicking here.

To order larger numbers of this patient brochure, please contact the Department of Health's warehouse directly: National Mailing and Marketing on 02 6269 1080 or email


Although all care has been taken, this information paper is only a general guide; it is not a substitute for assessment of appropriate courses of treatment on a case-by-case basis. The National Asthma Council Australia expressly disclaims all responsibility (including negligence) for any loss, damage or personal injury resulting from reliance on the information contained.

© 2013

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