Chronic cough is a common complaint in the general population but there are no precise data on the incidence of, and prospectively examined risk factors for chronic cough in a population-based setting. Therefore, we investigated the period prevalence, incidence and risk factors for chronic cough in adult subjects. In a prospective population-based cohort study among subjects aged ⩾45 years, data on chronic cough were collected on two separate occasions using a standardised questionnaire. Chronic cough was defined as daily coughing for at least 3 months duration during the preceding 2 years. Potential risk factors were gathered by interview, physical examination and several investigations. Of the 9824 participants in this study, 1073 (10.9%) subjects had chronic cough at baseline. The prevalence of chronic cough increased with age and peaked in the eighth decade. In subjects aged <70 years, chronic cough was more common in women. During an average follow-up of 6 years, 439 incident cases of chronic cough occurred with an overall incidence rate of 11.6 per 1000 person-years (95% CI 10.6–12.8). In current smokers, the incidence of chronic cough was higher in men. In the multivariable analysis, current smoking, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), asthma and COPD were identified as risk factors for chronic cough. Chronic cough is common among adults and highly prevalent in the older population. Current smoking, GORD, asthma and COPD are independent risk factors for chronic cough. Individuals at risk of developing chronic cough may benefit from smoking cessation and control of the underlying disease.

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Journal ERJ Open Research
Arinze, J.T., de Roos, E.W, Karimi, L, Verhamme, K.M.C, Stricker, B.H.Ch, & Brusselle, G.G. (2020). Prevalence and incidence of, and risk factors for chronic cough in the adult population: the Rotterdam Study. ERJ Open Research, 6(2). doi:10.1183/23120541.00300-2019