hat is asthma, are we diagnosing it correctly and are the drugs prescribed needed?
Doctors using observations and not proper tests, study warns.
‘Sufferers’ had allergies or heartburn
Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
ONE third of people with asthma have been wrongly diagnosed, or their condition is no longer active, a study has suggested.
Researchers selected more than 700 adults at random who had been diagnosed with asthma in the last five years and checked
They found 33 per cent of people did not appear to have the condition, and nine in 10 of these were able to stop their
medication completely. Most had minor conditions such as allergies or heartburn, and 28 per cent had nothing wrong with
them at all.
“It’s impossible to say how many of these patients were originally misdiagnosed with asthma, and how many have asthma that
is no longer active,” said the lead author of the study, Prof Shawn Aaron, senior scientist and respirologist at the Ottawa
Hospital and the University of Ottawa, Canada.
“What we do know is that they were all able to stop taking medication that they didn’t need medication that is expensive and
can have side effects.”
Around one in 12 adults in Britain, some 4.3 million people, has asthma, with the study suggesting 1.4 million of them do not
have an active condition.
A similar study carried out in The Netherlands last year also suggested that more than half of children are misdiagnosed with
The new study found that doctors oftendid not order the tests needed to confirm an asthma diagnosis and in nearly half of
cases based their diagnosis solely on the patient’s symptoms and their own observations.
In the UK, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence is drawing up new guidelines advising doctors to use more clinical
tests to back up their judgement and avoid the danger of wrongly labelling someone as asthmatic.
What is asthma? This question was posed in the Lancet (Vol. 368, No. 9537, 26/8/06) which clearly demonstrates there is no consensus to the answer.
Re-evaluation of Diagnosis in Adults With Physician-Diagnosed Asthma
January 17, 2017JAMA. 2017;317(3):269-279. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19627
To further support this finding, research done a decade ago suggested that up to 40% of those diagnosed with asthma had been wrongly diagnosed and should not be on the medication prescribed. (Middlemore & Green Hospitals March 25th 2007)
Is it not time that a proven clinically tried and tested approach should be offered patients?
That approach involves teaching patients better breathing habits to reduce the very common condition of chronic hidden hyperventilation. One such training system that has stood the test of time is the Buteyko Method another is The Papworth Method. Both are clinically and cost effective, giving patients better control of their symptoms and better QOL as well as saving millions of pounds in medical costs worldwide.
AsthmaCareKent HERE or TheBreathConnection