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Asthma patients may be misdiagnosed with other conditions

A lot of people in New York could have asthma and not even know it, according to a recent survey. Researchers from the medical and scientific department of GlaxoSmithKline in Italy surveyed thousands of patients and found that many of them may have asthma despite being diagnosed with a different respiratory disease. They found evidence that underdiagnosis of asthma is a common problem.

The research was based on respondents to a survey who showed indications of a respiratory disease. Almost one-third of the patients who had been diagnosed with another kind of respiratory disease indicated that they might have asthma. All of the survey respondents were adults who had been prescribed three or more inhaled corticosteroids over the past year.

Among the 2,090 patients who were surveyed, 991 had received an asthma diagnosis and 1,099 had received a diagnosis of another type of respiratory disease. Some of the most common diagnoses in the survey group included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections. The lead researcher commented that underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of asthma result in improper treatment and can contribute to mortality. If asthma is detected early, correct management of the disease may help to improve a patient's long-term prognosis.

A patient who does not receive a timely asthma diagnosis may be injured by improper treatment. Those who find out that they were misdiagnosed with another disease and who ended up with a worsened condition may want to meet with an attorney to see if there is any recourse available for seeking compensation for the resulting losses.

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