Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: diagnosis and epidemiology

Clin Chest Med. 2012 Mar;33(1):41-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2011.12.001.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dust
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / epidemiology*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / etiology
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / mortality
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / therapy
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Mortality / trends
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Dust