Clinical characteristics of chronic cough in Korea

Tai Joon An, Jin Woo Kim, Eun Young Choi, Seung Hun Jang, Hwa Young Lee, Hye Seon Kang, Hyeon Kyoung Koo, Jong Min Lee, Sung Kyung Kim, Jong Wook Shin, So Young Park, Chin Kook Rhee, Ji Yong Moon, Yee Hyung Kim, Hyun Lee, Yong Hyun Kim, Je Hyeong Kim, Sang Haak Lee, Deog Kyeom Kim, Kwang Ha YooDong Gyu Kim, Ki Suck Jung, Hui Jung Kim, Hyoung Kyu Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic cough is defined as a cough lasting more than 8 weeks and socio-economic burden of chronic cough is enormous. The characteristics of chronic cough in Korea are not well understood. The Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases (KATRD) published guidelines on cough management in 2014. The current study evaluated the clinical characteristics of chronic cough in Korea and the efficacy of the KATRD guidelines. Methods: This was a multi-center, retrospective observational study conducted in Korea. The participants were over 18 years of age. They had coughs lasting more than 8 weeks. Subjects with current pulmonary diseases, smokers, ex-smokers with more than 10 pack-years or who quit within the past 1 year, pregnant women, and users of cough-inducing medications were excluded. Evaluation and management of cough followed the KATRD cough-management guidelines. Results: Participants with chronic cough in Korea showed age in the late forties and cough duration of more than 1 year. Upper airway cough syndrome was the most common cause of cough, followed by cough-variant asthma (CVA). Gastro-esophageal reflux diseases and eosinophilic bronchitis were less frequently observed. Following the KATRD cough-management guidelines, 91.2% of the subjects improved after 4 weeks of treatment. Responders were younger, had a longer duration of cough, and an initial impression of CVA. In univariate and multivariate analyses, an initial impression of CVA was the only factor related to better treatment response. Conclusion: The causes of chronic cough in Korea differed from those reported in other countries. The current Korean guidelines proved efficient for treating Korean patients with chronic cough.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalTuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases.


  • Cohort Studies
  • Cough
  • Diagnosis
  • Disease Management
  • Epidemiology
  • Guideline


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