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Cough persistence in adults with chronic cough: a 4-year retrospective cohort study

Kang, Sung-Yoon; Song, Woo-Jung; Won, Ha-Kyeong; Jie Chung, Soo; Kim, Ju-Young; Park, Heung-Woo; Morice, Alyn H.; Cho, Sang-Heon


Sung-Yoon Kang

Woo-Jung Song

Ha-Kyeong Won

Soo Jie Chung

Ju-Young Kim

Heung-Woo Park

Alyn H. Morice

Sang-Heon Cho


There is very limited evidence regarding long-term prognosis of chronic cough. We examined longitudinal outcomes among patients with chronic cough, and explored predictors of cough persistence.
A retrospective cohort was constructed of adults who had newly visited a specialist cough clinic in 2012–2013. All had undergone systematic investigation for chronic cough. The Hull Airway Reflux Questionnaire (HARQ) was administered to assess reflux cough symptoms. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2016–2017 to assess cough persistence.
From 418 candidates, 323 participated in the follow-up study; main analyses focused on patients with chronic persistent cough (n=64; 19.8%) and remitted cough (n=193; 59.8%). Compared with remitted cough, chronic persistent cough group had more family history of chronic cough (17.2% vs. 4.7%, p=0.001) and cold air-sensitive cough (62.5% vs. 44.6%, p=0.013). The total HARQ score did not differ; however, two items (cough with eating and cough with certain foods) scored significantly higher in chronic persistent cough. In multivariate analyses, a family history of chronic cough (adjusted odds ratio 4.27 [95% confidence interval 1.35-9.89]), cold air-sensitive cough (2.01 [1.09-3.73]), and cough with eating (1.22 [1.02–1.45]) were associated with chronic persistent cough at 4 years.
Cough persists in about 20% of patients after 4 years following systematic assessment and treatments. Several cough characteristics, such as family history, cold air-sensitivity, or reflux cough, may be associated with cough persistence. Larger cohort studies are warranted to further understand long-term prognosis and confirm predictors of persistence in patients with chronic cough.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Allergology International
Print ISSN 1323-8930
Electronic ISSN 1440-1592
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Kang, S., Song, W., Won, H., Jie Chung, S., Kim, J., Park, H., … Cho, S. (in press). Cough persistence in adults with chronic cough: a 4-year retrospective cohort study. Allergology International,
Keywords Chronic cough; Epidemiology; Longitudinal outcome; Predictor; Retrospective cohort study
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