Study finds 33% of adults recently diagnosed with asthma do not have it

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spirometry test / Test de spirométrie

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 33 percent of adults recently diagnosed with asthma by their physicians did not have active asthma. Over 90 percent of these patients were able to stop their asthma medications and remain safely off medication for one year.

“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impossible to say how many of these patients were originally misdiagnosed with asthma, and how many have asthma that is no longer active,” said lead author of the study Dr. Shawn Aaron, professor at the University of Ottawa, senior scientist and respirologist at The Ottawa Hospital. “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.” Eighty percent of the participants who did not have asthma had been taking asthma medication, and 35 percent took it daily.

The study also found that doctors often did not order the tests needed to confirm an asthma diagnosis. Instead they based their diagnosis solely on the patient’s symptoms and their own observations.

Read the full release

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