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Characteristics of Chinese patients with cough in primary care centre

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Author(s): Hong Qunying | Bai Chunxue | Wang Xiangdong

Journal: Journal of Translational Medicine
ISSN 1479-5876

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 149;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Cough is one of the most common respiratory symptoms and is well characterized in specialized cough clinics with high success rates of diagnosis and treatment. However, there is a paucity of data regarding cough in primary care settings. The present study aimed at investigating clinical epidemiology of cough through a national study of two questionnaire surveys sent to primary care physicians in China. Methods Approximately 18,000 subjects recruited were having daytime or night symptoms of cough and diagnoses of respiratory disease from February 2005 to April 2006 as Survey 1 and from June 2007 to December 2007 as Survey 2. Patients suffering from respiratory malignancy, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, severe hypohepatia or renal dysfunction, pregnancy, possible pregnancy or lactation, neutropenia were not eligible. Information regarding demography, history of allergies, symptomatic profile, treatment and curative effects for cough was elicited. Results 8216 questionnaires were collected in Survey 1 and 9711 in Survey 2. The mean values of ages were 25.7 and 22.3 years old, respectively. Symptoms included expectoration (74% and 76%), wheeze (59% and 74%), breathlessness (22% and 26%), chest pain (9% and 13%) and fever (15% and 18%). About 15% and 23% patients had hypersusceptibility, of whom 6% to 17% had a family history. More than 50% of the cases had histories of allergic rhinitis, asthma, conjunctivitis or atopic dermatitis. Asthma, COPD, and bronchitis were dominant etiologies of cough. Procaterol or the combination of antibiotics and steroids were used as the treatment. Conclusion Causes and outcomes of cough differed with ages and time in this particular national study, while successful and precise diagnosis and management of cough in primary care settings need to be further improved in China.

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