Causes and Mechanism of Chronic Cough Explored

Article

Chronic cough, defined as a cough lasting eight weeks or longer, is common in the community and can be caused by environmental exposures to such things as cigarette smoke and pollution as well as by a number of common and rare diseases, according to an article published April 19 in The Lancet.

<p>MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic cough, defined as a cough lasting eight weeks or longer, is common in the community and can be caused by environmental exposures to such things as cigarette smoke and pollution as well as by a number of common and rare diseases, according to an article published April 19 in <i>The Lancet</i>.</p> <p>Kian Fan Chung, M.D., of Imperial College London in London and colleagues reviewed the prevalence, pathogenesis and causes of chronic cough.</p><p>Chronic cough is common, with survey-reported prevalence ranging from 9 percent to 33 percent of the population. Chronic cough can be caused by environmental exposure to such things as cigarette smoke and pollution as well as by diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, rhinosinusitis, pulmonary fibrosis and neoplastic conditions. Compared with people without a cough, patients with chronic cough have an increased response to inhaled stimuli, such as capsaicin, which may result from either increased sensitivity of cough receptors or changes in brain stem processing.</p><p>"Under normal conditions, mechanical deformation of the cough receptor leads to a protective cough reflex, but irritation or inflammation causes neuroplastic changes, and the cough receptor could become sensitive to stimuli that it does not usually respond to or become hypersensitive to other tussive stimuli," write the authors.</p><p>Two study authors report financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.</p><p><a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673608605954/abstract" target="_new">Abstract</a><br/><a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673608605954/fulltext" target="_new">Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)</a></p>

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