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Cough. 2007 Jan 8;3:1.

Prevalence and clinical manifestations of gastro-oesophageal reflux-associated chronic cough in the Japanese population.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.


Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) is one of the most common causes of chronic cough in Western countries, responsible for 10 to 40% of cases. In Japan, however, GOR-associated chronic cough (GOR-CC) has been rarely reported and its clinical manifestation including frequency of concomitant reflux laryngitis is poorly known. We have analyzed prevalence and clinical characteristics of patients who were diagnosed as having GOR-CC among adult patients with chronic cough (>or= 8 weeks) who visited our asthma and cough clinic over a period of 19 months. Diagnosis of GOR-CC was based on the response of coughing to a proton-pump inhibitor (lansoprazole) and/or positive results of 24 h ambulatory esophageal pH monitoring. Laryngeal involvement was based on symptoms or objective diagnosis by specialists.GOR-associated chronic cough was diagnosed in 7.1% (8 of 112) of chronic cough patients. In addition to the demographic data which were consistent with the characteristics of patients with GOR-CC in the Western populations, including gender (6 females), age (mean +/- SE, 56.9 +/- 5.8 years), duration of cough (9.9 +/- 3.3 months), lack of gastrointestinal symptoms (3 of 8) and complication with other causes of cough (5 of 8), we found the standard range of body mass index (23.9 +/- 1.5 kg/m2) and high incidence of concomitant reflux laryngitis (5 of 8) in the present 8 patients. Among 4 patients who could stop treatment with temporal resolution of cough, cough recurred in 3 patients, 1 week to 8 months after the discontinuation. In conclusion, GOR-CC is a less frequent cause of chronic cough in Japan than in Western countries. Signs or symptoms of laryngitis may be important as clues to suspicion of GOR-CC.

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