Table 1

Comparative features of 1014 adults presenting with acute lower respiratory illness. Values indicate numbers (percentages) unless stated otherwise

DetailQuestionnaire returned (n=787)Questionnaire not returned (n=227)
Demographic details:
Mean (SE) age (years)47 (0.6)37 (1.03) (P<0.001)
Male:female ratio39:6143:57
Never smokers (others ex or current smokers)407 (52)98 (43) (P<0.03)
Symptoms:
Median (interquartile range) duration (days)7 (5–14)7 (4–10)
Sputum discoloured452 (57)129 (57)
Sputum clear (others had dry cough)146 (19)46 (20)
Other lower respiratory tract symptoms514 (65)144 (63)
Upper respiratory tract symptoms410 (52)125 (55)
Systemic symptoms343 (44)116 (51) (P=0.054)
Signs*:
Chest clear503 (65)147 (65)
General chest signs171 (22)53 (23)
Focal chest signs77 (10)22 (10)
Antibiotic prescribed581 (74)148 (65) (P=0.014)
Patient reconsulted (within 4 weeks)140 (18)42 (18)
  • *Chest not examined in additional 36 (3%) and 5 (2%) of each group.