Autopsies performed on 93 asthma patients, between the ages of 10 and 49, found that their breathing passages were filled with mucus and dead cells, compared with the airways of people who died from other causes. Although the degree of blockage ranged from minimal to complete, none of the patients? airways were completely clear. Previous reports have indicated that deaths from asthma can occur without airway blockage. Based on their findings, however, the researchers concluded that ?airway plugging is a key factor in fatal asthma in both children and adults.? The findings were published recently in the American Journal of Medicine.