Original Article | Volume 17 Number 1: 0 | 22 Mar 2022

Incidence of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-induced cough in a Malaysian public primary care clinic: A retrospective cohort study


Introduction: The incidence of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi)-induced cough has been reported between 5% and 30% but is unknown in Malaysia. This study aimed to determine the incidence of ACEi-induced cough and its associated factors in a public primary care clinic in Malaysia.
Methods: A retrospective review of electronic medical records of patients who were initiated ACEi between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015, and reviewed until July 31, 2016. A total of 1,091 patients were newly prescribed ACEi, and 394 patients were eligible for this study. We excluded patients who defaulted follow-ups with no further clinic visits before July 31, 2016, were transferred to the clinic without the recorded date of ACEi initiation, were transferred to other clinics during the study period, were followed up at other clinics and attended the study clinic for a short period, or were given only a stat dose of ACEi.
Results: Among the 394 patients initiated on ACEi, 225 (57.1%) were male, 369 (93.7%) were Malay, 376 (95.4%) had hypertension, and 192 (48.7%) had diabetes. The incidence of ACEi-induced cough was 24.1%, and 42 (10.7%) patients developed cough on the day of therapy initiation. There was no association between age, gender, ethnicity, type of ACEi, and cough.
Conclusion: Approximately one quarter of patients developed cough after ACEi initiation, and approximately half of them developed cough within 1 week of ACEi initiation. Doctors should consider early follow-up for patients initiated on ACEi therapy to ensure adherence, quality of life, and minimise unnecessary treatment.