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Monday, September 7, 1998 Published at 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK


You only cough when you're winning....

Coughing can be almost as loud as a pneumatic drill....

Coughing can be as loud as the roar from a football terrace, according to new research.

A survey by the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, sponsored by cough medicine company Benylin, measured most coughs at 70-90 decibels - as loud as a noisy radio or underground train.

[ image: ...and as loud as a football crowd]
...and as loud as a football crowd
The loudest cough recorded at the centre was measured at 94 decibels, marginally quieter than a pneumatic drill, and comparable with a football crowd roar.

The size of a sufferer's neck was the best indication of how loud a cough is, with men whose necks are 16 inches or more in circumference, having the noisiest coughs.

Coughing though, is a necessary evil, as it is a protective mechanism, alerting people to another illness, or it is also the body's way of reacting to an irritant in the throat or lungs.

Surprising attitudes

[ image: ....or an underground train]
....or an underground train
Professor Ron Eccles, Director of the Common Cold Centre, said: "We weren't really surprised about the sound levels, what was most surprising were people's attitudes to coughing.

"They get really irritated and worry they might catch it too. People get really concerned that coughing will spread."

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