Credit: Public Health Solutions

Based on the study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the number of Australians over 45 dying due to asthma has risen within the last five years.

In 2006, the research results showed 402 asthma-related deaths, higher than in 2005, which was a total of 318.

The lead researcher, Dr Adrian Webster said the study aimed at asthma cases among older people as it was not being looked into in past reports.

He says, What we have found is that ... 92 per cent of deaths due to asthma occured in those aged 45 years and over.

In the past few years, Dr Webster said, the number of deaths might have remained on a plateau or have in fact increased.

Although the prevalence of asthma among younger people is more common, the older generation is not immune to the condition, said Dick Ruffin, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide.

He says, The thought that older people can't get asthma for the first time in later life is incorrect.

People can get asthma later on.

Debra Kay, spokeswoman of Asthma Australia said the research will clear the many myths associated with asthma.

She said people generally think of asthma as a disease commonly seen in younger people, but many older Australians have asthma - one in 10 Australians are affected by it.

Older people often blame shortness of breath as something related with ageing, but Ms Kay said, that is incorrect.