Risk factors for chronic cough

A summary of research published in ERJ Open Research

Many people experience a chronic or long-term cough. This is defined as a daily cough for at least 3 months. The diagnosis and treatment of the condition is complicated as it has many different causes. This study aimed to understand more about the different factors that may increase the risk of a chronic cough.

What did the study look at?

The researchers used information from questionnaires from people aged 45 years or older. They looked at whether people lived with a long-term cough. They also used information from interviews and physical examinations and tests to understand what might have caused the cough.

What do the results show?

The study included 9,824 people. The findings revealed that 10%, or one in every 10 people, had chronic cough. The study identified four key risk factors for chronic cough:

  • Current smoking
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
  • Asthma
  • COPD

Why is this important?

The findings in this study are useful as they help us to understand more about how common chronic cough is and what might cause the condition. The risk factors highlighted here suggest that stopping smoking and receiving treatment for other underlying conditions could help manage chronic cough.

Read the original research paper

Title: Prevalence and incidence of, and risk factors for chronic cough in the adult population: the Rotterdam Study