A clinical study of adult patients with an asthma diagnosis suggests that follow-up reassessment may be warranted.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated whether asthma can be ruled out and medications can safely be stopped in some adult patients.According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), asthma is a chronic lung condition that inflames and narrows the airways of the lungs. Currently, there isn’t a definitive cure for asthma, but it can be controlled with treatments to treat “flare-ups”. Asthma affects an estimated total of 25 million Americans, 7 million of them being children. The following study was conducted on clinically diagnosed adults suffering from asthma.
The multicenter study in 10 Canadian cities included 701 adults with physician-diagnosed asthma in the last 5 years. 613 people complete the study and it was found that asthma was ruled out in 33% of patients that were no longer using medication. After an additional year, 29% of the original participants still had no evidence of asthma. Further assessment revealed that 2% of patients were misdiagnosed with asthma, and were suffering from more serious underlying conditions.
This study highlights the necessity in re-evaluation for patients, as well as consulting a specialist after receiving any specific diagnosis, and following up regularly. This opens a multitude of doors for the way we treat, inform, and assess patients when it comes to dealing with chronic conditions to determine if a patient is improving or worsening.
Written By: Jacqueline Suttin