The . The simple answer is yes; asthma can develop at any age including adulthood. However, studies have shown that there is substantial complexity to this. Many young adults who are diagnosed with â€œadult onsetâ€ asthma actually turn out to have a history of wheezing during childhood or a history of atopy (allergies such as hayfever or eczema). This suggests that new onset asthma in young adulthood may have its origin in early childhood. Women also seem to be more susceptible than men in developing adult onset asthma. Studies have also shown that in contrast to childhood asthma (which many people grow out of), adult onset asthma tends to persist with at least the same level of severity if not worse as you get older. Diagnosing new onset asthma in older adults is more problematic as there are many other conditions that can mimic asthma and can lead to a misdiagnosis. Some examples of conditions that can do this include bronchiolitis, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (especially in smokers) and left-ventricular heart failure. Therefore, a diagnosis of adult onset asthma should only be made after extensive workup, preferably by a pulmonologist.