Skip to content

    Depression Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Chronic Cough Can Be Depressing

    Treating Chronic Cough May Help Lift Depression, Study Shows
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Dec. 11, 2006 -- Chronic cough is often accompanied by depression, and when chronic cough eases, people may feel better.

    So say doctors at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center.

    They studied 100 patients with chronic cough -- defined as cough lasting for more than eight weeks -- who were treated at the Montefiore Cough Center.

    When the patients first came to the clinic, they completed a 20-item depression questionnaire. Their answers showed that more than half of the patients -- 53% -- had depression symptoms that scored high enough to be at risk for clinical depression.

    After three months of treatment for chronic cough, 81 of the patients repeated the questionnaire. They reported coughing less and scored lower on a measure of depression symptoms.

    The study by Peter Dicpinigaitis, MD, FCCP, and colleagues appears in Chest.

    Why is chronic cough often depressing? The researchers suggest several possibilities:

    • Worse overall health. Chronic cough can disrupt sleep and prompt nausea, vomiting, and urinary incontinence.

    • Social isolation. Chronic coughers may fear they'll cough severely in public places.

    • Strained relationships. Chronic cough can hamper relationships with spouses, relatives, and co-workers.

    In light of the findings, doctors should be aware that people with chronic cough may need help for depression, write Dicpinigaitis and colleagues.

    Today on WebMD

    contemplation
    Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
    jk rowling
    Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
     
    depressed man sitting on hallway floor
    Learn the truth about this serious illness.
    Sad woman looking out of the window
    Tips to stay the treatment course.
     
    unhappy teen boy
    Health Check
    jk rowling
    Slideshow
     
    Pills with smiley faces
    Article
    Teen girl huddled outside house
    Article
     
    Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
    Article
    antidepressants slideshow
    Article
     
    pill bottle
    Article
    Winding path
    Article