The prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma is increasing partly because of a link between asthma and obesity.
Several factors lead to asthma-like symptoms in obese patients, including the mechanical effect of increased body mass index on lung volumes, which increases the work required for breathing.
Researchers from the Countess of Chester Hospital and the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom recently found that obese patients may be more at risk for asthma misdiagnosis due to the similarity of symptoms experienced, such as breathlessness.
Out of 91 subjects, 33 (36.3%) experienced a possible misclassification of an asthma diagnosis.
This article is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.