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As Many as Half cases of Asthma Diagnosed in Children May Not Even Have the Respiratory Condition, Says Study

Update Date: Mar 01, 2016 02:02 PM EST

There is a possibility of asthma being misdiagnosed in up to half of children who have been diagnosed with the condition, according to a new research conducted in Netherlands but published in British Journal of General Practice.

As the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reassesses the diagnosis procedures, they take the new findings into account. The study was published by Daily Telegraph and followed the claims made by NHS regulator last year that at least one third cases of asthmatic adults revealed no clinical signs of the disorder and has a fair chance that it has been misdiagnosed, says Independent

As per the research carried out by the University Medical Center, Utrecht, the doctors are not able to carry out proper procedures or conduct appropriate tests that would reveal the diagnosis definitively.

Treatment of a condition that may not even exist is a cause of concern as some of the drugs given to the asthma patients can cause throat infections, tremors, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, says study. Children with asthma are also possibly averse to exercising that can cause greater weight problems, reports The Telegraph

Researchers examined the cases of 652 Dutch children aged between 6 and 18 who were diagnosed with Asthma. Interestingly, about 53% of these children were unlikely to have the condition or not have it at all. The study suggested that the doctors need to take a more structured approach to the diagnosis including the lung function test in children who are suspected to have asthma. This will help in correct diagnosis and prevent over/misdiagnosis.

'Empirical diagnosis of asthma (based on doctors' experience rather than test results) should be avoided,' it added. Dr Ingrid Looijmans-van den Akker told the Telegraph: 'Over-diagnosis of asthma was found in more than half of the children, leading to unnecessary treatment, disease burden and impact on their quality of life," as reported by Daily mail

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