A substantial proportion of patients with obesity who were found to not have obstructive lung disease were treated anyway, according to the results of a new study published online by BMC Pulmonary Medicine.

For the study, the authors reviewed data on 155 obese patients referred for spirometry and found that a third of those already prescribed a bronchodilator continued to do so despite normal spirometric findings.

Researchers working on the study also discovered that 40% of obese patients referred for spirometry had normal pulmonary testing results. What’s more, 45% of obese patients receiving therapy for misdiagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.

“Clearly such patients are exposed to complications and costs of these therapies without proven or plausible clinical benefits,” the authors wrote in BMC Pulmonary Medicine.