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PA-IPF Registry home  

The Daniel and Joan Beren
Pennsylvania Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
State Registry

A project of the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Temple University, Geisinger Medical System

PA-IPF Hotline  1-866-922-4IPF (4473)


Risk factors for IPF
Diagnostic test for IPF
I've been diagnosed with IPF, now what?
What if I need oxygen?
Exercise and IPF
Find a support group
How will IPF affect my diet?
I'm afraid of death, what can I do?
Will my children get IPF?

Risk Factors for IPF


Increase in Risk



Disease is 3 to 5 times more common in people above the age of 75 versus those younger than 55.

The true date of onset of disease is very difficult to define. Younger patients may have a more severe form of the disease that presents itself earlier in life.


70% of individuals are current or former smokers suggesting that smoking increases the risk by 1.5 to 2.5 times.

Symptoms may occur sooner in people who smoke which allows for an earlier diagnosis of disease in smoker vesus nonsmokers.


Male:Female = 60/40

Males are at increased risk in all age groups. Survival is longer in females than in males.

Metal Dust

Increases risk by 2 to 3 times.

Many years of exposure are required. Steel, brass and lead are most common metals.

Wood Dust

Increases risk by 2 to 3 times.

As with metal dusts, many years of exposure are required.

Stone or Sane Dust

Increases risk by 1.5 to 2.5 times.

Exposure to fine particles of sand can also cause silicosis which is a different form of pulmonary fibrosis than IPF.

Hepatitis C antibodies

Probably no increase.

These patients may develop other forms of interstitial lung disease.

Family History of Pulmonary Fibrosis

Risk is difficult to determine, but 2–5% of all individuals with IPF have familial disease which may skip a generation before showing up again.

Disease tends to occur at an earlier age and be more aggressive but can be present many years before symptoms arise.