The aim of this study was to determine if children in the community with persistent cough can be considered to have asthma.A validated questionnaire was given to the parents of 1245 randomly selected children aged 6-12 years. Atopy was measured with skin prick tests. Children with persistent cough had less morbidity and less atopy compared with children with wheeze. Although the syndrome commonly referred to as "cough variant asthma" could not be shown in this study, a significant number of children with persistent cough had been diagnosed as having asthma and were treated with asthma medications including inhaled corticosteroids. Studies are urgently needed to determine the appropriate treatment for children with persistent cough.
(Arch Dis Child 1998;79:411-414)