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Chronic cough is a burdensome disorder

Published online: April 1, 2021

Chronic cough (CC) is defined as a cough lasting longer than 8 weeks and has a reported prevalence ranging from 1% to 12%, depending on patient characteristics, study design, and treatment received.  

Zeiger and co-investigators in a study published recently in The Journal of Allergy Clinical Immunology: In Practice determined the burden of CC in 565 patients with a comprehensive online/written survey. The survey used validated CC questionnaires ([the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ), the Hull Airway Reflux Questionnaire (HARQ), the Cough Quality of Life Questionnaire (CQLQ)], determined CC severity (visual scale), health status, and healthcare resource utilization among patients with CC identified by electronic health records on two visits separated by at least a year.  Patient demographics and patient-reported CC features were compared between males and females and among patients of each ethnic groups.

Among the 565 patients completing the survey the majority were older than 60 years, female, and White ethnicity and reported having CC duration for 8.6±10.5 years with an average weekly severity of 5.3±2.3 (maximum 10). The patients exhibited a high degree of cough burden documented by their scores on the validated health status and cough quality of life questionnaires. Patients with CC-associated respiratory and gastrointestinal comorbidities generally showed similar results regarding the above questionnaires. Treatment responses were suboptimal. Women compared to men and non-Whites compared to Whites reported significantly worse cough severity, poorer LCQ, HARQ, and CQLQ scores.

CC is self-reported as a burdensome condition, particularly in women and non-White minorities, which markedly affects daily living with inadequate response to treatments.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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