AsthmaAsthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the bronchial mucosa that causes constriction of the airways (Huether & McCance, 2012). Acute exacerbations are sudden and require immediate attention. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of asthma as it relates to age and genetics.Genetics and AgeIn the U.S., more than 22 million people have asthma (National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institue, 2014). It affects people of all ages, but more commonly affects children (National Heart,Lung, & Blood Institute, 2014). The highest rates of asthma occur in the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia with a prevalence rate of 4-8% (McPhee & Hammer, 2010). Asthma is an inherited disorder and greater than 100 genes have been identified contributing to its susceptibility and pathogenesis (Huether & McCance, 2012). The production of interleukin-4, 5, and Ig E, eosinophils, mast cells, and adrenergic receptors are a few genes that are isolated and influence asthma production (Huether & McCance, 2012). Other genetic factors include age of onset, allergen exposure, urban residence, exposure to air pollution, tobacco smoke, and recurrent respiratory tract viral infections (Huether & McCance, 2012).
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