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.
The study by Peter Dicpinigaitis, MD, FCCP, and colleagues appears in Chest.
Why is chronic cough often depressing? The researchers suggest several possibilities:
Social isolation. Chronic coughers may fear they'll cough severely in public places.
In light of the findings, doctors should be aware that people with chronic cough may need help for depression, write Dicpinigaitis and colleagues.