A study — whose results were published in JAMA — reevaluated adults with physician-diagnosed asthma and in many cases found that asthma may not actually be the culprit. Researchers recruited 613 men and women diagnosed with asthma in the past five years, and found they were able to rule out the disorder in about a third of the subjects. In some cases, another breathing issue was found that may have been misdiagnosed as asthma.
This New York Times article introduces Dr. Shawn D. Aaron, a professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa who asserts that a diagnosis for asthma cannot be based off symptoms alone and that laboratory testing is necessary. “If you have shortness of breath, wheeze or cough, you should suggest that the doctor order a spirometry test,” says Dr. Aaron. The spirometry test is quick, risk-free and can predict asthma or other respiratory conditions accurately, with no side effects.