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Only half of those living with chronic cough in Europe have a diagnosis

Only half of those living with chronic cough in Europe have a diagnosis

Research has shed light on the way that chronic cough negatively impacts the lives of people living with the symptom, and has highlighted the need for greater support.

Chronic cough can be defined as lasting longer than eight weeks, and occurring without the following symptoms: coughing up blood, wheeze you cannot shift, significant shortness of breath, weight loss, weakness, lethargy and pain.

The study, published in the journal, Lung, was produced by a European Respiratory Society Task Force on Chronic Cough in conjunction with the European Lung Foundation. It involved an online survey, available in 12 languages on the ELF website. 1,120 people from 29 different countries responded, with the average duration of the cough among participants lasting between 2–5 years.

Most participants indicated that they were negatively impacted by their coughs in terms of their quality of life, mood and ability to undertake activities. Despite 72% of participants having visited their doctor on three or more occasions, only 53% were given a diagnosis for their chronic cough.

The researchers conclude that more work is needed to support people living with chronic cough, including raising awareness of the condition and developing effective treatments.

Read the journal article.

Read our factsheet on chronic cough.