Use clinical tests to diagnose asthma and to avoid overdiagnosis, says NICE

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 29 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h522
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Doctors should use clinical tests to accurately diagnose asthma rather than simply taking a medical history, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said, because around 1.2 million UK adults may be wrongly receiving treatment for the condition.

No gold standard test is currently available to diagnose asthma, and in current practice doctors mainly check for signs and symptoms. But NICE said that almost a third of people being treated for asthma do not have clear evidence of the condition. Some may have had asthma in the past, NICE added, but …

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