New York residents may be interested to know that according to a study done by researchers at GlaxoSmithKline, nearly 33 percent of patients diagnosed with a respiratory disease may have in fact had asthma. Failing to diagnose asthma in patients in a timely manner could result in future complications for patients or even death. Data was collected from 2,090 patients who completed the European Community Respiratory Health Survey.

All of the patients involved in the study were over the age of 18 and had prescriptions for at least three inhaled corticosteroids in the past year. Of those who took part in the study, 54.1 percent of them were women, and the mean age of all study participants was 54.9. Of the 2,090 patients surveyed, 1,099 were diagnosed with something other than asthma with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease being the leading alternate diagnosis.

However, 365 patients who filled out the ECRHS study provided results that were more consistent with asthma. Researchers said a qualified questionnaire given to all patients prior to a diagnosis being made could be helpful in better identifying patients with asthma. They also said that further education was needed to help general practitioner's improve their ability to test for and treat those who may have asthma.

A doctor who fails to diagnose a condition or engages in another form of negligent medical treatment could cause great harm to the affected patient, including a worsening of the patient's condition that could require significant additional medical expenses. After a review of the patient's medical records and a consultation with a medical expert, an attorney representing the patient may find it advisable to file a medical malpractice lawsuit that would seek appropriate compensation from the practitioner.

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