Effect of short-term exposure to high particulate levels on cough reflex sensitivity in healthy tourists: A pilot study

Ryuhei Sato, Peijun Gui, Kumiko Ito, Masahiro Kohzuki, Satoru Ebihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have reported a relationship between particulate air pollution and respiratory symptoms or decline in lung function, but information about acute effects of short-term exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) on cough and pulmonary function is scarce. Objective: To investigate the effect of short-term exposure to high concentrations of PM on the cough reflex threshold, urge-to-cough, pulmonary function, and cough-related quality of life in a group of healthy non-resident volunteers visiting Beijing, China. Methods: Seventeen healthy residents of Sendai, Japan, who planned to attend a meeting in Beijing, were recruited. We checked local air quality and measured cough reflex thresholds, urge-to-cough, pulmonary function, and Leicester Cough Questionnaire-acute (LCQacute) scores in the volunteers before, during, and after their trip to Beijing. Results: The PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in Beijing were significantly higher than those in Japan on the measurement days. Cough reflex thresholds, expressed as nebulized citric acid concentrations required to induce ≥ 2 and ≥ 5 coughs, were significantly lower during the stay in Beijing than before or after the visit. Vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and FEV1/FVC were significantly lower during the stay in Beijing than before the trip. Similarly, the urge-to-cough threshold was significantly lower during the stay in Beijing than after the trip, as was the total LCQ-acute score. Conclusion: We tentatively concluded that short-term exposure to high PM concentrations may have adverse effects on cough reflex and urge-tocough thresholds, pulmonary function, and cough-related quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-104
Number of pages9
JournalOpen Respiratory Medicine Journal
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

Keywords

  • Cough reflex
  • Leicester cough questionnaire-acute
  • Particulate matter
  • Pulmonary function
  • Short-term exposure
  • Urgeto-cough

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