Friday 23 March 2018

Third of asthma sufferers 'don't actually have it'

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Stock image

Sarah Knapton in London

One-third of people with asthma may not actually have the condition either because it has gotten better, or they were wrongly diagnosed in the first place, a new study suggests.

Researchers selected more than 700 adults at random who had been diagnosed with asthma in the last five years and checked them again.

They found 33pc of people did not have the condition, and nine in 10 of those were able to stop their medication completely. Most had minor conditions like allergies or heartburn, and 28pc had nothing wrong with them.

"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impossible to say how many of these patients were originally misdiagnosed with asthma, and how many have asthma that is no longer active," said lead author of the study Professor Shawn Aaron, senior scientist and respirologist at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, Canada.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."

A similar study carried out in the Netherlands last year also suggested that more than half of children are misdiagnosed with asthma.

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