Conference Coverage

Chronic Cough Epidemiology, Management, Quality of Life

The cough is the most common, symptom-related diagnosis associated with a clinician visit in the United States, according to John Russell, MD, who presented on the diagnosis and management of chronic cough at Practical Updates in Primary Care 2022 Virtual Series.

“Acute cough is one that is less than 3 weeks in duration, and then we have a subacute cough that is 3 to 8 weeks in duration, and then we have a chronic cough, and that is what we’ll focus on […] is a cough of more than 8 weeks’ duration,” Dr Russell said.

Dr Russell is chair of the Department of Family Medicine and program director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Abington-Jefferson Health in Abington, Pennsylvania. He presented a session at Practical Updates in Primary Care 2022 Virtual Series titled, “Chronic Cough Essential Guidance for Optimal Diagnosis and Management in Primary Care,” along with Albert Rizzo, MD, who is a pulmonary physician at the Center for Virtual Health at ChristianaCare in Newark, Delaware; clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and chief medical officer of the American Lung Association.

The learning objectives during Drs Russell and Rizzo’s presentation on chronic cough included:

  • How to identify and evaluate the mechanisms of chronic cough and the burden that chronic cough places on a patient’s quality of life.
  • How to apply current recommendations from evidence-based guidelines for the best assessment, diagnosis, and management of patients with chronic cough.
  • A summary of clinical data on current and investigational medications for the treatment of refractory chronic cough or unexplained chronic cough.

In most cases, chronic cough represents a symptom of common respiratory and nonrespiratory diseases. And when chronic cough persists despite treatment of those conditions, a systematic approach and consideration of neuromodulation, pharmacology, and speech therapy are necessary, Dr Rizzo noted.

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For more information about PUPC 2022 Virtual Series and to register for upcoming sessions, visit

–Jessica Bard



Russell J, Rizzo A. Chronic cough essential guidance for optimal diagnosis and management in primary care. Talk presented at: Practical Updates in Primary Care 2022 Virtual Series; September 7, 2022; Virtual.