Child asthma is being 'over-diagnosed' by doctors and more than half of those told they have the condition may not actually have it, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, in Holland, claimed their study into the respiratory condition indicated doctors were failing to properly assess youngsters or carry out appropriate lung function tests resulting in over-diagnosis.
The findings have spurred the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) to examine how GPs diagnose asthma in the UK where more than a million children are thought to have it.
And Professor Mark Baker, director of clinical practice at Nice, told the Telegraph the health body was developing guidelines to provide advice on the most suitable tests for accurately diagnosing asthma.
One of the lead researchers in the Dutch study, Ingrid Looijmans-van den Akker, said of the 652 youngsters diagnosed with asthma and taking part in the study only 16.1% of those had the diagnosis confirmed with a simple test to monitor lung function.