Chest pain may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms like coughing. The pain may be due to forceful or persistent coughing, or can occur independently of the coughing. Nevertheless it is important to identify if both chest pain and coughing are related and to isolate the possible causes of both. Chest pain with coughing is not always due to respiratory causes since certain gastrointestinal and cardiac (heart) conditions can cause chest pain and also trigger coughing.

Causes of Chest Pain Coughing

Most diseases that affect the respiratory passages may result in coughing and chest pain. This may be due to inflammation of the airway, mucus production or fluid in the lungs. Infections of the respiratory passages are by far the most common cause of chest pain accompanied by a cough. However other pathologies that do not directly affect the respiratory passages may also cause coughing and chest pain.

Respiratory

  • Common cold, seasonal flu (influenza), H1N1 swine flu, SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome).
  • Epiglottitis, tracheitis, acute or chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and croup.
  • Tuberculosis (TB).
  • Opportunistic infections of the respiratory tract in HIV/AIDS patients.
  • Sarcoidosis.
  • Asthma.
  • Post nasal drip.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) like emphysema.
  • Smoke inhalation.
  • Allergies.
  • Foreign body or aspiration.
  • Tumors.
  • Pleurisy which may cause chest pain and coughing upon deep breathing.

Cardiovascular

  • Heart failure.
  • Pulmonary embolism.

Drugs

Some types of the following drugs can cause coughing which may result in chest pain. This side effect may not occur in

  • Antihypertensives, particularly ACE inhibitors.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Certain statins which are used for lowering blood cholesterol.
  • Some over-the-counter (OTC)  cold and flu medicines.
  • Certain weight loss drugs.

Gastrointestinal

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Esophagitis.
  • After an endoscopy or barium esophagogram.

Article reviewed by Dr. Greg. Last updated on March 28, 2012