Asthma Link To Global Warming

Chris Horner of CEI gave SEPP (Science & Environmental Policy Project) a copy one of the communications to Lisa Jackson he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The email was addressed to a Richard Windsor, an alias used by Jackson to avoid the Freedom of Information Act. The subject was Strategic Communications and was dated March 18, 2009 – early in the Administration.

Unfortunately, climate change in the abstract is an increasingly – and consistently – unpersuasive argument to make. However, if we shift from making this about the polar caps and about our neighbor with respiratory illness, we can potentially bring this issue home to many Americans …

…By revitalizing our own Children’s Health Office, leading the global charge on this issue, and highlighting the children’s health dimension to all our major initiatives – we will also make this issue real for many American who otherwise would oppose many of our regulatory actions.

Now we learn this:

Is asthma being overdiagnosed?

A potentially alarming figure that emerged in the UK news last week was that “1 million” UK adults may have been wrongly diagnosed with asthma – a claim reported in various forms by BBC News, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror and the Mail Online.


So, where did the figure of 1 million come from? All the UK press rallied round a statement in the draft guideline that said: “studies of adults diagnosed with asthma suggest that up to 30% do not have clear evidence of asthma”. What followed was clearly a “back of the envelope” calculation extrapolating this to the number of people receiving treatment for asthma in the UK, which is around 4.1 million. This gave the magic figure of 1.23 million potentially misdiagnosed people.

Confirmation of Asthma in an Era of Over diagnosis

We recently showed that 30% of adults with a physician diagnosis of asthma did not have asthma when objectively assessed using a 4-step algorithm involving serial spirometry, bronchial challenge testing, and subsequent tapering of asthma medications. The objective of this study was to determine how many steps in the algorithm were required to confirm asthma, and whether any patient-related variables were associated with earlier asthma confirmation.

And not just in England, while I have been unable to find a study on America’s  over diagnosis, but if this one from Canada is any guide we can rest assured that it is as well: Asthma may be over-diagnosed in Canada: study from 2008 indicated:

Asthma may be over-diagnosed by as much as 30 per cent in Canadian adults, according to a new study, which suggests that doctors may be missing the signs of a more serious problem.

“The myth-busting part of this study may be that there are a lot of Canadians who are labeled as asthmatics who believe they have the disease, but they may not have it,” Dr. Shawn Aaron, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute and the head of respiratory medicine at the Ottawa Hospital, told CTV News.

The question posed by this is the increased diagnostic of asthma is coincidental  with the Alarmist need for a propaganda issue to hype the need to limit co2 production, or has it been a concerted effort by fellow travelers?  Of course the Alarmist may just be benefiting from Big Pharma vested interested in selling its high priced drugs to treat asthma.  In any case it has worked well for them as a whipping horse to  push their agenda, i.e., control how and what we use for energy.


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