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July 22, 1983

Factitious Asthma

Author Affiliations

University of Maryland Baltimore

JAMA. 1983;250(4):484. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340040028015

To the Editor.—  The report by Downing et al of factitious asthma in three patients (1982;248:2878) describes suggested criteria for making this diagnosis.My colleagues and I have seen a patient we believe had factitious asthma and describe herein her premorbid state and follow-up one year after this diagnosis was made.

Report of a Case.—  A 28-year-old woman has been followed up for several years in our Family Health Center at the University of Maryland's Department of Family Medicine. During this time, she frequently had multiple complaints, only to return after treatment with the same complaint. Other than allergic rhinitis and an occasional urinary tract infection, however, no pathological condition was ever found.Her first episode of wheezing occurred in July 1981, shortly after she separated from her alcoholic husband. During the next six months, she was seen 14 times for asthma, nine of these visits for acute exacerbations. She