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LEAD study shows multiple phenotypes in many chronic cough patients

Presented by
Dr Hazim Abozid, Otto Wagner Hospital, Austria
ERS 2020
Cohort study, LEAD
An Austrian cohort study found a high amount of idiopathic cough among the general population affected by chronic cough [1]. Furthermore, multiple phenotypes were determined according to the new ERS guidelines in many patients with chronic cough.

Dr Hazim Abozid (Otto Wagner Hospital, Austria) and his fellow researchers were interested in the presence of chronic cough in the general population, as well the characteristics of the affected patients [1]. They looked at prevalence based on the phenotype classification for chronic cough suggested in the recently published guidelines of the European Respiratory Society [2].

The LEAD cohort includes over 11,000 Austrian citizens in a random sample of the general population stratified by sex and age. For the current investigation, all 10,057 adult persons aged 18-80 years were assessed using a questionnaire [1]. Chronic cough was defined as coughing nearly every day and/or in the morning during the last 12 months independent of common cold for at least 3 months.

The 868 (8.6%) participants suffering from chronic cough were allocated to the ERS phenotypes according to the underlying conditions. If no such association could be determined, the chronic cough was classified as being idiopathic. Of the chronic cough participants, 69.7% had a history of smoking and 40.8% fell into the idiopathic group.

Matches to ERS phenotypes were: 39.1% reflux cough, 29.8% asthmatic cough, 22.0% upper airways cough syndrome, and 18.9% iatrogenic cough, caused by medication. A higher rate of patients with depression and anxiety were observed amid the chronic cough group compared with those without (16.1% vs 8.6% and 26% vs 18.8%, respectively). Another characteristic more frequent in chronic chough versus no chronic cough was having a low socioeconomic status (10.9% vs 7.1%). A substantial part of individuals presented 2 (30.4%), 3 (9.1%), or even 4 or 5 (1.7%) different phenotypes of chronic cough, highlighting the importance of careful assessment of this diagnosis.


    1. Abozid H, et al. Phenotypes and Characteristics of Chronic Cough in a General Population- The Austrian Lead Study. Session D93, ATS 2020 Virtual, 5-10 Aug.
    2. Morice AH, et al. Eur Respir J. 2020;55:1901136.


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