How does the prevalence of bronchiectasis vary by age?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Ethan E Emmons, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

In the preantibiotic era, symptoms usually began in the first decade of life, and this continues to hold true in less-developed countries. Currently, in developed countries, the age of onset has moved into adulthood, except in children with CF. [69]

An epidemiologic study of bronchiectasis-associated hospitalizations in the United States demonstrated that the hospitalization rate for this disorder increased from 1993-2006, especially in persons older than 60 years. [70] No specific single underlying diagnosis has been associated with this apparent increase in the burden of disease in the elderly.

Although limited, epidemiologic studies suggest that persons aged 60-80 years have the highest frequency of bronchiectasis—again likely from the rise in atypical mycobacterial infections. The differences in prevalence between age groups are a direct reflection of the differences in prevalence of the underlying causes of bronchiectasis, lung disease, and/or chronic infections. [71]


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