Last updated January 6, 2022

Cough In The Athlete

SUGGESTIONS

In adult and adolescent athletes (≥12 years of age) complaining of acute or recurrent cough, we suggest to initially evaluate for the most commonly reported causes of cough in this group such as asthma, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), respiratory tract infections (RTIs), upper airway cough syndrome (UACS) due to rhinosinus conditions, and environmental exposures related to the sport training environments. (, )

(Consensus based, ungraded)

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In adult and adolescent athletes (≥12 years of age) complaining of acute or recurrent cough, we suggest that pulmonary function tests, particularly bronchoprovocation challenges, and assessment of allergy to common airborne allergens be performed in the investigation of cough to identify common etiologies such as asthma, EIB, and evaluate the effects of environmental exposures such as allergens, respiratory irritants and pollutants. (2, B)
307795

In adult and adolescent athletes (≥12 years of age) complaining of acute or recurrent cough, we suggest to proceed with a systematic investigation based on suspected cause(s) from initial clinical assessment, with specific attention to the athletes’ particular sport and training environment and context (exercise-related or not) in which cough occurs, to determine its etiology.

(Consensus based, ungraded)

307795

In adult and adolescent athletes (≥12 years of age) complaining of cough, we suggest a treatment trial directed at the suspected causes of cough similarly to the general population, but taking into account the sport performed and training environment. The anti-doping regulations and potential side-effects of medications that could interfere with training performances should be reviewed and considered when appropriate. (-)

(Consensus based, ungraded)

307795

In adult and adolescent athletes (≥12 years of age) complaining of acute and recurrent cough, we suggest that investigators perform randomized control trials to assess the effects of disease-specific and or environment-specific (e.g., cold air induced cough) treatments on cough because there are minimal data on how to optimally treat cough in these groups.
(Consensus based, ungraded)
307795

Recommendation Grading

Overview

Title

Cough In The Athlete

Authoring Organization

Publication Month/Year

February 1, 2017

Document Type

Guideline

External Publication Status

Published

Country of Publication

US

Document Objectives

Cough is a common symptom experienced by athletes, particularly after exercise. We performed a systematic review to assess the following in this population: (1) the main causes of acute and recurrent cough, either exercise-induced or not, (2) how cough is assessed, and (3) how cough is treated in this population. From the systematic review, suggestions for management were developed.

Target Patient Population

Athletes with cough

Inclusion Criteria

Female, Male, Adolescent, Adult

Health Care Settings

Ambulatory, Outpatient, School

Scope

Counseling, Assessment and screening, Diagnosis, Management, Treatment

Diseases/Conditions (MeSH)

D003371 - Cough, D056352 - Athletes, D013177 - Sports, D013178 - Sports Medicine

Keywords

athletes, cough, sports