Cough in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

J. A. Smith, P. M A Calverley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) most commonly complain of cough, production of phlegm and breathlessness. The cough reflex sensitivity is heightened compared with that in healthy volunteers and is similar to that in subjects with asthma. The degree of airflow obstruction does not predict cough reflex sensitivity or objective cough counts, implying an independent process. Objective cough rates seem to be relatively low in COPD, despite frequent reporting of the symptom by patients. The relative contribution of cough to disability in COPD seems to be small, if assessed by subjective reporting. Effective treatments for cough in COPD have not yet been identified. Improved outcome measures of cough, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cough, and the importance of cough to patients is required to progress in this field. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393-398
    Number of pages5
    JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • COPD
    • Cough
    • Cough challenge


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