Purpose: The present study aimed to examine the age and gender distributions among chronic cough patients referred to a tertiary cough clinic in Korea, and to investigate clinical factors related to the demographic findings. Methods: Study participants were unselectively recruited from adult chronic cough patients who attended the cough clinic for the first time during one year. To validate their representativeness, their age and gender distributions were compared to the entire chronic cough population, or with those presenting with other chronic disease. Data from the baseline investigations were analyzed to identify clinical factors related to the demographic findings. Results: A total of 272 chronic cough patients were included. They had a middle-aged female predominant feature (mean age: 52.8±15.7 years and female 69.1%). Their age and gender distributions were almost identical to the entire chronic cough population, but were distinct from patients with hypertension. Among clinical factors, the older female predominance was associated with enhanced capsaicin cough sensitivity, and also with the presence of 'cough by cold air' symptom. Allotussia and laryngeal paresthesia were highly common in chronic cough patients, affecting 94.8% and 86.8% of them, respectively. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated older female predominance among adult chronic cough patients attending a referral cough clinic in Korea. The demographic features were significantly associated with the capsaicin cough responses and also potentially with allotussia (particularly cold air as the trigger). These findings suggest a role of cough reflex sensitization in the pathophysiology of chronic cough in adults.
- Respiratory hypersensitivity