At least half a million children in the UK may have been wrongly diagnosed with asthma, a study in the British Journal of General Practice suggests.
Doctors are failing to properly assess youngsters in surgeries or carry out appropriate lung function tests which would give a definitive finding, it is claimed.
Last year the NHS watchdog warned that around one third of ‘asthmatic’ adults showed no clinical signs and had probably been misdiagnosed.
The study, which looked at the medical records of 656 children diagnosed with asthma in the Netherlands, found that 53 per cent displayed no clinical signs of the condition.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is working on new guidelines for diagnosing asthma and says the latest research will help with that process.
According to Asthma UK, the UK has among the highest prevalence rates of asthma symptoms in children worldwide.