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Cough Science News, May 1, 2024

May 1, 2024
Lola Jover

The Research Roundup

New cough science publications vetted and collected in one place

Could cough monitoring be effective syndromic surveillance for Covid-19 in a hospital waiting room?

Key Takeaway: The study found a significant correlation between aggregated cough count collected by a sensor in an emergency room and positive Covid-19 cases in the hospital (Pearson correlation of 0.40). Predictions of Covid-19 based on cough count outperformed predictions based on the number of patients presenting with fever.

Why It Matters: Fever monitoring is a widely used but somewhat intrusive method of syndromic surveillance. Cough monitoring may provide a more passive, but still real-time, alternative, or it could be combined with fever to generate more accurate predictive models. Integrating cough monitoring into syndromic surveillance might improve our ability to manage the next pandemic.

Read publication.

How effective is codeine for treating patients with refractory/unexplained chronic cough (RCC/UCC)?

Key Takeaway: In a multicenter prospective study of 305 patients with RCC/UCC, just 16.7% responded clearly to codeine with rapid improvement in objective cough frequency and severity scores over the course of the first week following treatment. A further 18.7% were partial codeine responders and 20.3% were non-responders.

Why It Matters: This study is the first to characterize patients with RCC/UCC responding to codeine in a real-world patient registry - and the first to include continuous monitoring of objective cough frequency for one week following treatment (for a subset of patients). The high rate of poor response to codeine underscores the big unmet medical need in RCC/UCC.

Read Publication.

What are the major factors associated with refractory cough in IPF?

Key Takeaway: The study reviewed IPF patients and found several clinical features of those with refractory chronic cough that differed from those without chronic cough: lower BMI, lower FVC, traction bronchiectasis and distorted airway architecture vs almost normal airway architecture on HRCT scans.

Why It Matters: Despite the small cohort size, the findings point to a potential mechanism for refractory chronic cough in IPF. This finding could form the basis for improved treatments for cough in IPF patients.

Read Publication


  • Cough is a promising acoustic biomarker in asthma (read more)
  • An assessment of predictive factors for postoperative cough in lung cancer patients (read more)
  • Deep diaphragmatic breathing training has potential for patients with cough from GERD (read more)

Deep Dive with Researchers

Exploring the Possibilities of Longitudinal Cough Data

Q&A with Dr Alex Zimmer

PhD student in Epidemiology at McGill University

“In my second study, which examines cough frequency over time, I hypothesize that cough frequency generally decreases during the initial weeks of TB treatment, and thus may help inform treatment monitoring.”

Dr Zimmer spoke with us about her research into the value of cough as a biomarker for improving respiratory outcomes, particularly in tuberculosis (TB). Through multiple studies, she is examining the potential of cough for screening for TB, as well as for monitoring treatment.

Read the full Q&A here.

Cough Science Events Ahead

*DATE UPDATED* Cough Science Forum:

Join the next Cough Science Forum for the latest breakthroughs in cough science on the 29th of May.

🕜Time: 3.00PM UTC / 11.00AM EDT / 5.00PM CEST

🔗 Register Now

American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Hyfe will be at ATS in San Diego from May 17-22. We’d love to meet with you!  Please get in touch (reply to this email) to book a meeting with our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Peter Small.

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