In 2000, the American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society published the first consensus statement providing guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This statement presented, for the first time, diagnostic criteria for IPF and recommendations for treatment. Results from several studies have reshaped the thinking on IPF, and as a result, the guidelines have been recently revised using an evidence-based approach. Meanwhile, several epidemiologic studies have yielded data that identify potential risk factors and that better define the societal burden of IPF. This article summarizes the approach to diagnosing IPF and reviews epidemiologic data on IPF.
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