Data reveals prevalence of chronic cough in elderly populations

Updated on October 31, 2023

Hyfe, Inc., the global leader in AI-powered cough detection, tracking and classification, has released critical data analysis of over 4,000 users of its consumer cough tracking apps. The analysis uncovers new information about cough, such as the severity and frequency, prevalent comorbidities, and the primary demographics of chronic coughers. Key insights from users’ data include:

  • 74 percent of chronic coughers are 55+ years old, with nearly 70 percent of those being women 
  • The average user coughs nearly 20 times per hour, adding up to an average of 450 times per day
  • The top 10 percent of users cough an average of 38 times per hour, or 900 times per day, and users with the most acute coughing have rates over 100 coughs per hour, or thousands of coughs per day
  • 20 percent of respondents disclosed their cough has been persistent for more than 10 years 
  • Users reported their top comorbidities of chronic cough as hypertension, COPD, asthma and allergies

This data reveals a key area of elderly care and women’s health that is yet to be studied and often goes untreated by providers. These findings underscore a need to address the unique challenges facing the elderly population, particularly women, who experience chronic cough on a daily basis, while highlighting the need for further research and expanded treatment options for individuals with the condition.The data also shows that, for a portion of the population who struggle with cough, the effects of the problem are enormous. These chronic coughers have been underserved by the health system, both in terms of the cough itself as well as its social and emotional toll.

Users report that they avoid social gatherings due to a negative stigma around cough and suffer professionally out of concern for coughing spasms while in the office or in important meetings. “The lack of information on cough is a significant blind spot in healthcare and we firmly believe cough should be recognized as a disease unto itself. With this data, we are gaining unprecedented insights into the nature of cough for the first time, shedding light on the profound impact of chronic cough on patients’ lives,” said Joe Brew, PhD, CEO of Hyfe AI. “Significant research opportunities lie ahead in this field in order to fully understand cough and develop effective treatments. Our technology will remain pivotal in propelling this research forward.”For more information, visit HyfeHyfe, Inc. is the global leader in AI-powered cough detection and classification that provides insight into cough patterns and correlations and is being widely used to help patients gain a better understanding of their cough and have more informed conversations with their providers. With more than 700 million samples, Hyfe maintains the largest cough dataset in the world enabling the building of powerful models to track, manage and diagnose respiratory illnesses. Hyfe provides platforms and data for pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, health care providers and patients and has partnerships with leading academic institutions including Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at San  Francisco. The company was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. More information is available at, on social media @hyfeapp and LinkedIn at /hyfe.


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