Background: In studies of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), whites makeup the vast majority of subjects. Whether ethnic/racial differences in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis occur in the general population is unknown.
Methods: To compare the presence of IPF between ethnic/racial groups of U.S. decedents from 1989 to 2007 by using the National Center for Health Statistics database.
Results: There were 251,058 U.S. decedents with IPF; 87.2% were non-Hispanic whites (White), 5.1% were non-Hispanic African American (black), 5.4% were Hispanic, and 2.2% were from other ethnic/racial groups (other). Whites coded with IPF died older than those in the other groups (77.9 years vs. 72.1 years for blacks, 75.3 years for Hispanics, and 75.6 years for others; p < 0.0001 for all pairwise comparisons). When controlling for age and for sex, compared with whites, both Hispanics and Others were more likely to be coded with IPF (OR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.44-1.49, p < 0.0001 and OR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.26-1.36, p < 0.0001 respectively), while blacks were significantly less likely to be coded with IPF (OR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.47-0.49, p < 0.0001). Among decedents with IPF, Hispanics were more likely, and blacks were less likely, than whites to die from IPF (OR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.20-1.29, p < 0.0001 and OR = 0.91, 95% CI 0.87-0.94, p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: From 1989 to 2007, black decedents were less-and Hispanics were more-likely than whites to die of/with IPF. Research is needed to determine if genetic differences between ethnic/racial groups explain these findings.
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