Thursday, January 19, 2017

Third of asthma patients may not have it

According to a study of 613 randomly selected Canadian asthma patients (JAMA), 33% of them were being treated but did not have asthma. This meant they were needlessly taking strong medications.

Half had not been properly tested. In other words, the doctor listened to a report of trouble breathing and handed over an inhaler--without doing a spirometry test, which tells how well the lungs are working.

In some cases, the patients might have had asthma but it had become inactive--although they kept taking the meds.

Both Canadian and American guideliness recommend doctors reassess asthma patients every so often. If the symptoms are under control, treatment could be tapered down.

But most doctors, the researchers said, do not do this.

Taking the steroids in the medicines can have bad effects over time.

In this study, a third of patients had nothing wrong at all. Two had heart disease, and 65% had minor conditions like allergies.

I was told once I had late-onset asthma--but it was a medication reaction. I kept saying I don't have asthma--and 9 months after stopping the med, I was back to normal...not a wheeze since.

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