Air pollution exposure: a novel environmental risk factor for interstitial lung disease?

Chest. 2015 Apr;147(4):1161-1167. doi: 10.1378/chest.14-1299.


Air pollution exposure is a well-established risk factor for several adverse respiratory outcomes, including airways diseases and lung cancer. Few studies have investigated the relationship between air pollution and interstitial lung disease (ILD) despite many forms of ILD arising from environmental exposures. There are potential mechanisms by which air pollution could cause, exacerbate, or accelerate the progression of certain forms of ILD via pulmonary and systemic inflammation as well as oxidative stress. This article will review the current epidemiologic and translational data supporting the plausibility of this relationship and propose a new conceptual framework for characterizing novel environmental risk factors for these forms of lung disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / chemically induced
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors