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Breathing exercises in asthma
  1. M R Partridge
  1. Imperial College London, NHLI, Charing Cross Hospital Campus, London W6 8RP, UK; m.partridgeimperial.ac.uk

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It was a pleasure to read a report of a well conducted trial into a complementary treatment for asthma.1 This is a subject which attracts considerable media attention. The authors of this report and the author of an accompanying 2 both introduce their articles with a reference to “a third of respondents in a recent asthma survey having tried one or more breathing techniques to relieve symptoms”.3 While their quote is correct, the report to which they refer is of a survey of members of the UK National Asthma Campaign. Such a membership may not be typical of those with asthma. In a more recent study of a stratified cross section of the asthma population we found only 6% of the study population to be current users of complementary therapies. That use was greatest among those who expressed most concern regarding their current medication.4

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