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A simple breath test

A simple breath test can now determine if a patient has asthma or cystic fibrosis, says study.

health and fitness Updated: May 18, 2004 01:50 IST
ANI
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A simple breath test can now determine if a patient has asthma or cystic fibrosis.

According to University of Virginia scientists, people with lung diseases have highly acidic breath. What's more, the acidity of their breath rises depending on how severe their condition is.

Writing in the European Respiratory Journal, they said that doctors should be able to distinguish between healthy patients and those with lung diseases quite easily. This is because healthy people have a breath which is slightly alkaline, reports the BBC.

The researchers said the acidic breath associated with people with lung diseases may be caused by the overproduction of acids in the lung.

They believe this over production may even cause some of the symptoms associated with these diseases.

Dr. John Hunt and colleagues said breath tests were a simple and reliable way of detecting lung diseases.

Writing in the European Respiratory Journal, they said the procedure was "extremely simple to perform, inexpensive and robust".