Chronic cough seems more common in women than men. The mean ratio of female to male patients with chronic cough is 2.1 (95% CI, 1.6-2.4). Many large population-based studies have clearly demonstrated that females are more likely to suffer from angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors induced cough. When small sized cohort studies on chronic cough are reviewed, the mean ratio of female to male patients is 2.5 (95% CI, 1.7-3.3) in patients with gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) associated cough, 3.6 (95% CI, 1.5-5.8) in patients with atopic cough, 1.6 (95% CI, 0.8- 2.5) in eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma, 2.6 (95% CI, 1.8-3.4) in adult cough variant asthma and 1.9 (95% CI, 0.8- 4.7) in childhood cough variant asthma. Thus, it is likely that females are more likely to suffer from chronic cough, especially ACE-inhibitor-induced cough, GER associated cough, atopic cough and probably eosinophilic bronchitis without asthma, all of which are characterised by increased cough reflex sensitivity. In addition, female healthy volunteers have increased cough reflex sensitivity to inhaled capsaicin.
Keywords: Cough, cough reflex, gender, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors, gastro-esophageal reflux (GER), atopic cough, asthma, post-nasal drip (PND), upper airway cough syndrome, cough variant asthma, cough reflex sensitivity, tartaric acid, capsaicin, pre-menopausal, post-menopausal, tussive agent, bronchial, hyperresponsiveness, airway inflammation, citric acid
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