Relationship between cough reflex sensitivity and body mass index in children with chronic cough - a pilot study

Physiol Res. 2020 Dec 31;69(Suppl 3):S463-S470. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.934596.

Abstract

Obesity is characterized by chronic, low-grade systemic inflammation. Obesity may also be associated with chronic cough. The aim of this pilot study was to clarify relation of cough reflex sensitivity and body mass index (BMI) in children with chronic cough. Altogether 41 children having symptoms of chronic cough were submitted to cough reflex sensitivity measurement. We assessed the relation of cough reflex sensitivity (CKR) due to BMI. Cough reflex sensitivity was defined as the lowest capsaicin concentration which evoked two (C2) or five (C5) coughs. Capsaicin aerosol in doubling concentrations (from 0.61 to 1250 micromol/l) was inhaled by a single breath method (KoKo DigiDoser; nSpire heath Inc, Louisville, CO, USA), modified by the addition of an inspiratory flow regulator valve (RIFR; nSpire heath Inc, Louisville, CO, USA). BMI was calculated. Pulmonary function was within normal range. Concentrations of capsaicin causing two (C2) and five coughs (C5) were reported. Children (22 boys and 19 girls, mean age 6.8 years) cough reflex sensitivity (median, with the Inter-Quartile Range) for C2 was 19.5 (73.4) micromol/l; for C5 it was 78.1 (605.5) micromol/l. We have noticed statistically significant relation of the cough reflex sensitivity (C5) and body mass index (P<0.0001); however, the effect size was small, R2=0.03. Increase of body mass index in one unit is associated with -34.959 micromol/l decrease of C5. We did not find a statistically significant relation between C2 and BMI (P=0.41). The median value of CKR (C2) in boys is not statistically significantly different than the median value of CKR (C2) in girls (P-value 0.5). The median value of CKR (C5) in boys is not statistically significantly different than the median value of CKR (C5) in girls (P-value 0.5). Increase of body mass index in children suffering from chronic cough relates to decrease of cough reflex sensitivity (C5 value).