Updated 24 August 2017

Conditions associated with a cough

Some conditions may present with coughing or have cough as part of their presenting symptoms.


A cough can be associated with numerous conditions from other systems. It is important to remember that coughing is a symptom and the cause should be established. Listed below are some conditions that may present with coughing or have cough as part of their presenting symptoms:

Cardiac Conditions
Heart Failure   

Respiratory conditions

Upper respiratory tract infections like sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis
Lower respiratory tract infections including pneumonia, bronchitis
Pulmonary embolism
Foreign bodies in the respiratory system
Cancers Tuberculosis

Digestive System
Gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Other causes that should be considered

Medications: especially hypertension medication like enalapril (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors)

Environmental conditions: pollution, mining (asbestosis)


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Cough Expert

Professor Keertan Dheda has received several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others. Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute.

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