Angioedema and urticaria affect people of all ages. Accurate diagnosis and optimum management is essential for healthy aging. Older people continue to experience mast cell-mediated urticaria and angioedema, with a higher prevalence of autoimmune and a lower prevalence of autoallergic disease. Bradykinin-mediated angioedemas are more common in the elderly because of their association with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) treatment. Acquired C1-inhibitor deficiency, another bradykinin-mediated angioedema, occurs predominantly in older people, whereas hereditary angioedema due to C1-inhibitor deficiency continues to cause symptoms, even in old age. Drug-induced angioedemas disproportionately affect older people, the most frequent users of ACEIs, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment prevent unnecessary morbidity and mortality. Second-generation antihistamines with omalizumab if required are effective and well tolerated in older people with mast cell-mediated urticaria. For bradykinin-mediated angioedemas, these drugs are ineffective. C1-inhibitor replacement or blockade of kallikrein or the bradykinin B2 receptor of the contact pathway is required to treat hereditary angioedema and may be considered in other bradykinin-mediated angioedemas, if supportive treatment is insufficient. For aspirin-related angioedema and urticaria, alternative medications or, exceptionally, desensitization may be required. Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2021.03.034c