Ms Ji Fengxia announces the clinical observation results which find that the overall efficacy rate of the Chinese medicine treatment of chronic cough is 80%.


Traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of chronic cough.


Date: 22 Nov 2016 (Tuesday)


HKBU clinical study finds an overall efficacy rate of 80% in Chinese medicine treatment of chronic cough


The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of HKBU recently conducted a clinical study on Chinese medicine treatment of chronic cough. The results indicated that the overall efficacy rate of the Chinese medicine treatment for this disease is 80%.

The basic definition of a chronic cough is coughing that lasts for eight weeks or more, with persistent coughing as the major symptom. Chronic cough is a common respiratory disease in Hong Kong, and with its high incidence in recent years. Patients who cough frequently find it difficult to suppress dry coughing. Recurrence of this condition is one that is commonly observed. It can seriously affect the quality of life of patients with an impact on both their physical and mental health. 

Ms Ji Fengxia, Senior Lecturer of the SCM Clinical Division at HKBU, conducted a clinical observation of 130 patients who attended HKBU Chinese medicine clinics for chronic cough treatment from January 2012 to March 2016. Of them, 32 were male and 98 were female. A higher occurrence rate of this disease was observed in patients aged 40 or above.

The observation indicated that of the 130 patients receiving Chinese medicine treatment for chronic cough, 39 of them (30%) recovered, while an improvement was observed in 66 patients (50.77%). In general, the study showed an overall efficacy rate of 80.77% for the treatment.

It was commonly observed that over 70% of the patients, chronic cough was initiated by four common types of syndrome, namely upper respiratory cough syndrome, cough-variant asthma, eosinophilic bronchitis and gastroesophageal reflux cough. Ms Ji explained that although there were multiple factors inducing chronic cough, common syndromes included a highly sensitive air passage usually with a dry and itchy nasal passage, high coughing frequency with or without phlegm, and coughing that is easily induced or aggravated by cold air, gaseous and other inducers. Chronic cough is not usually related to infections, while the therapeutic effects of general expectorants and antitussives, as well as treatment by antibiotics, were not satisfactory.

Categories of chronic cough are “prolonged cough” and “intractable cough”. Regarding the syndrome differentiation, it was demonstrated that the largest number of patients, a total of 61 (46.92%), were diagnosed with “yin and qi deficiencies”, while the second largest, amounting to 29 patients (22.31%), were diagnosed with “lung and spleen qi deficiencies”. These 90 patients accounted for 69.23% of the total under observation. The treatment method of invigorating qi and nourishing the yin can have a satisfactory effect in these clinical scenarios.

Ms Ji indicated that the advantages of using Chinese medicine treatment for chronic cough lie in the high degree of personalised and precise diagnosis involved and the treatment methods of syndromes. She also cited the special Chinese medicine prescriptions that use a formula involving multiple steps, many components, and many target effects in order to improve the patient’s bodily constitution. 

Ms Ji added that most of the patients with chronic cough also show a certain level of yin and qi deficiencies, or spleen and lung qi deficiencies. As a result they may feel cold and easily start coughing. She reminded patients that in order to reduce the occurrence of the disease, they should keep their bodies warm, avoid over-exertion, do more exercise, improve physical fitness and modify their diet.


中醫藥學院臨床部高級講師吉鳳霞醫師早前分析了130名於2012年1月至2016年3月期間,前往浸大中醫藥診所就診的慢性咳嗽患者病例,男女比例分別佔32人和98人,當中40歲以上患者的發病率較高。在接受中醫治療後,39人 (30%) 治癒;66人 (50.77%) 情況好轉。綜合觀察結果所得,中醫治療慢性咳嗽的整體臨床總有效率為80.77%。


慢性咳嗽屬於中醫「久咳」、「頑固性咳嗽」的範疇,觀察結果顯示,在慢性咳嗽的證候分佈中,以氣陰兩虛型為最多 (61例),佔病例總數的46.92%;其次是肺脾氣虛型 (29例),佔總數的22.31%。兩個證型共計90例,佔慢性咳嗽病例的69.23%,在臨床採用補氣滋陰的治療方法,可取得滿意效果。