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Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2011 Feb;49(2):103-5.

[Etiological analysis of the children with non-specific chronic cough in Fuzhou area of Fujian province].

[Article in Chinese]

Author information

  • 1Asthma and Bronchitis Prevention Center, Children's Hospital of Fuzhou, Fujian Province, Teaching Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350005, China.



Chronic cough in children is a common pediatric symptom with complex causes and its diagnosis is difficult; chronic cough affects the life of children in both physical and mental health and also learning. Therefore this study aimed to investigate the causes of chronic cough in children in Fuzhou area of Fujian province.


Data were collected from 364 children with chronic cough who visited the asthma specialist clinic of Children's Hospital of Fuzhou, Fujian Province from March 2009 to April 2010. The diagnosis was made according to Guideline for Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Cough in Pediatrics published in 2008. Among the patients, 241 were boys and 123 girls. The patients were divided into 3 age groups: group 1, 1 to 3 years old (infants and young children group, n = 75); group 2, 4 to 6 years old (pre-school group, n = 215); and group 3, over 7 years (school-age group, n = 74), the mean age was (4.8 ± 1.1) years (3 months to 14 years), course of the illness was (4.5 ± 1.8) months (4 weeks to 38 months). Mycoplasma pneumoniae was detected by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


The causes of chronic cough were as follows: 171 cases (46.98%) had cough variant asthma; 104 cases (28.57%) had upper airway cough syndrome; 58 cases (15.93%) had respiratory infections; 17 cases (4.67%) had gastroesophageal reflux; 3 cases (0.82%) had foreign bodies. Totally 9 cases (2.47%) had chronic cough associated with 3 causes; 56 cases (15.38%) had 2 causes and 299 cases (82.14%) had single cause. The main causes of cough in the group of pre-school children were cough variant asthma and upper airway cough syndrome. The proportion of the upper airway cough syndrome in school-age children group was the highest among the 3 age groups, which is flowed by cough variant asthma.


The causes of chronic cough in children were cough variant asthma, upper airway cough syndrome, respiratory infections, cough after infection, gastroesophageal reflux and foreign bodies in Fuzhou area of Fujian province. Children with chronic cough in different age groups had different etiology, in about 18% of the children the etiology of chronic cough was associated with 3 or 2 causes, indicating that the causes of chronic cough in children are multifactorial.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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