Impaired Risk Review: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
A difficult and often fatal disease in older adults, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one of a spectrum of diseases called interstitial lung disease. The title accurately describes the process: Idiopathic (cause is unknown), pulmonary (affecting the lungs) and fibrosis (the normally expansive tissue in the lungs becomes hardened and fibrous). The disease can be localized or generalized, with generalized findings having a particularly poor prognosis. Usually not found until its later stages, CT scanning (particularly for lung cancer screening) has shown IPF to be more prevalent than previously thought.