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What causes idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

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Some people get pulmonary fibrosis when they're exposed to something in their environment, like pollution, certain medicines, or an infection. But most of the time, doctors don't know what causes IPF. That's what "idiopathic" means. You might be more likely to get IPF if you:

Sometimes, IPF runs in families. Doctors think broken genes could cause the disease in some people. No one knows yet which specific genes may be involved.

  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Breathe in wood or metal dust at work or home
  • Have acid reflux disease

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 11, 2019

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What are the symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

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