• 1 National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • 2 National Allergy Asthma Bronchitis Institute, Kolkata, India
  • 3 Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Kuala Lumpa, Malaysia
  • 4 Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan Hsien, Taiwan
  • 5 Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
  • 6 Merck & Co., Inc., New Jersey, NJ, USA
  • 7 Merck & Co., Inc., Singapore
  • 8 Optum, Sydney, Australia
  • 9 Seoul National University Hospital,, Seoul, South Korea
Value Health, 2014 Nov;17(7):A776-7.
PMID: 27202870 DOI: 10.1016/j.jval.2014.08.351


Objectives: Respiratory diseases represent significant impact on health care resources. A cross-sectional, observational study, Asia-Pacific Burden of Respiratory Diseases (APBORD), was conducted to examine burden of disease in adults with respiratory diseases across 6 countries - India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. We examined the extent to which cough is a presenting symptom and reason for medical visits for participants with Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis (AR), COPD or Rhinosinusitis.
Methods: Participants aged ≥18 years, presenting to a physician with primary diagnosis of Asthma, AR, COPD or Rhinosinusitis were enrolled. Participants completed a survey which contained questions related to demographics, respiratory symptoms, health care resource use and quality of life.
Results: A total of 13,902 participants were screened, of which 7,030 were eligible and 5,250 enrolled. The highest percentage of participants receiving care for a respiratory disorder had primary diagnosis of AR 14.0%, (95%CI: 13.4%, 14.6%), followed by Asthma 13.5% (12.9%, 14.1%), Rhinosinusitis 5.4% (4.6%, 5.3%) and COPD 4.9%, (5.0%, 5.7%). Cough or coughing up phlegm was reported as symptom by more than half the participants. Cough or coughing up phlegm was reported as the main reason for medical visit by more than 20% of participants. Among all symptoms reported, cough was most frequently reported by participants with a primarydiagnosis of COPD (73%), followed by Asthma (61%), Rhinosinusitis (59%), and AR (47%). In addition, cough was the most frequently reported main reason for seeking medical care among participants with a primary diagnosis of COPD (43%), for Asthma (33%), for Rhinosinusitis (13%), and for AR (11%).
Conclusions: Cough is a prominent symptom and major driver of medical care for patients with Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis, COPD or Rhinosinusitis. These data suggest that patients presenting with cough should be investigated comprehensively for any underlying more serious respiratory disorders to help with appropriate disease management.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.