Research Article
Volume 10 Issue 5 - 2021
Long-Lasting Cough (L-LC): Prevalence and Impact in the Pre-COVID Era in Italy. A Multicentric Survey
Dal Negro Roberto W1*, Turco Paola2 and Zanasi Alessandro3
1Lung Unit of the National Centre for Respiratory Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology, CESFAR, Verona, Italy
2Research and Clinica Government - R&CG, Verona, Italy
3Lung Unit of the Italian Association for Studying Cough, AIST, Bologna, Italy
*Corresponding Author: Dal Negro Roberto W, Lung Unit of the National Centre for Respiratory Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology, CESFAR, Verona, Italy.
Received: March 30, 2021; Published: April 16, 2021


Introduction: Classification of cough is usually based on its duration even if it is frequently biased by patients’ poor accuracy. The comprehensive term of “long-lasting cough” (L-LC) was for the first time introduced in the aim of minimizing the critical role of this bias.

Aim: Aim was to measure the prevalence and the impact of L-LC among Italian adults from the general population, together to their beliefs.

Methods: A self-managed anonymous questionnaire was randomly distributed to a pre-calculate sample from general population. The questionnaire consisted in five blocks of questions on different domains: 1) basic beliefs; 2) general impact; 3) approach to cough; 4) therapeutic expectations and 5) willingness to pay out-of-pocket. Data were reported as frequencies. Statistical comparisons were calculated by means of Chi Square test and p < 0.05 was assumed as the minimum level of statistical significance.

Results: Regardless the job, the prevalence of L-LC was 38.9%, and was significantly higher in northern and central regions (both p < 0.001). L-LC was generally perceived as a disease per sé in 38.2%. L-LC was reported to affect Quality-of-life by 72.2% of respondents, but highly affecting by 27.3% of them. Lung physician was the most preferred (56.2%) first-line specialist to consult in these cases. COPD and lung cancer were slightly, but significantly more feared by active and former smokers of both genders (p < 0.02 and p < 0.01, respectively). A large proportion of respondents disagree the therapeutic first-line approach with antibiotics (54.8%) and steroids (42.1%) for curing their L-LC, because blindly decided in the majority of cases. Anti-tussive remedies are appreciated by 47.0% of respondents. The willingness to pay even more that 20 € out-of-pocket for receiving any effective reliever against their L-LC was reported by 27.7% of respondents.

Conclusion: The prevalence of L-LC is higher than presumed within the Italian general population. At present, L-LC is largely regarded as “a disease” and no longer as a spy symptom common to different diseases. This belief is curiously in agreement with the most recent scientific evidence on the Cough Hypersensitivity Syndrome. A great proportion of Italians have a proper and restrictive belief versus first-line blind prescriptions for treating L-LC. Anti-tussive agents are highly valued, even if people’s willingness to pay out-of-pocket for any reliever remedy is increasingly high. Beliefs on L-LC rapidly changed in the last decade and innovative therapeutic options are anxiously waited in the near future.


Keywords: Long-Lasting Cough; Persistent Cough; Chronic Cough; Cough Impact; General Population


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Citation: Dal Negro Roberto W., et al “Long-Lasting Cough (L-LC): Prevalence and Impact in the Pre-COVID Era in Italy. A Multicentric Survey”. EC Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine 10.5 (2021): 15-26.

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