Epidemiology and Healthcare Service Utilization among Adults with Chronic Cough

Gabriel Chodick, Yael Barer*, Tal Blay Hagai, Ido Keidar, Gally Rosenfeld Teper, Hagit Kopel, Neville Berkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objective: Chronic cough (CC) is a prevalent yet underexplored medical condition, with limited real-world data regarding its healthcare burden. This study investigates the epidemiology, associated comorbidities, and healthcare service utilization among patients with CC. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, adult patients with at least 3 physician diagnoses of cough over a period spanning a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 12 months anytime between 2009 and 2018, were defined as patients with CC (PwCC). The reference group were adults without cough matched in a 1:1 ratio for age, sex, and place of residence. Results: The study included 91,757 PwCC, reflecting a prevalence of 5.5%. Of those, 59,296 patients (mean [SD] age, 53.9 [16.8] years; 59.6% females) were first diagnosed with CC during the study period, representing a 10-year incidence rate of 3.26% (95%CI: 3.24–3.29%). Diseases associated with the highest OR for CC included lung cancer (OR = 3.32; 95%CI: 2.90–4.25), whooping cough (OR = 3.04; 95%CI: 2.70–3.60), and respiratory infections (OR = 2.81; 95%CI: 2.74–2.88). Furthermore, PwCC demonstrated increased healthcare service utilization, leading to a higher adjusted annual estimated mean cost (USD 4038 vs. USD 1833, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Chronic cough emerges as a relatively prevalent complaint within community care, exerting a considerable economic burden. This study underscores the need for heightened awareness, comprehensive management strategies, and resource allocation to address the multifaceted challenges associated with chronic cough.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3230
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • chronic cough
  • economic burden
  • epidemiology
  • healthcare service utilization
  • prevalence


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