Table 1– Patient characteristics, including symptoms and signs, in 2810 patients presenting with acute cough in primary care
Patient history
 Age years50±17
 Male1122 (40)
 Current smoking780 (28)
 Comorbidity (pulmonary, cardiac or DM)#763 (27)
 Days ill prior to consultation9±8
 Cough present2808 (100)
 Breathlessness present1592 (57)
 Chest pain present1301 (46)
Physical examination
 Diminished vesicular breathing358 (13)
 Crackles265 (9)
 Temperature >37.8°C121 (4)
Clinical judgment of general practitioner
 Pneumonia present72 (3)
Chest radiograph (reference test)
 Pneumonia present140 (5)
  • Data are presented as mean±sd or n (%). DM: diabetes mellitus. #: pulmonary comorbidity was defined as history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiac comorbidity was defined as history of heart failure or ischaemic heart disease.