Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a heterogeneous disease with respect to clinical presentation and rates of progression, disproportionately affects older adults. The diagnosis of IPF is descriptive, based on clinical, radiologic, and histopathologic examination, and definitive diagnosis is hampered by poor interobserver agreement and lack of a consensus definition. There are no effective treatments. Cellular, molecular, genetic, and environmental risk factors have been identifi ed for IPF, but the initiating event and the characteristics of preclinical stages are not known. IPF is predominantly a disease of older adults, and the processes underlying normal aging might significantly influence the development of IPF. Yet, the biology of aging and the principles of medical care for this population have been typically ignored in basic, translational, or clinical IPF research. In August 2009, the Association of Specialty Professors, in collaboration with the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Geriatrics Society, the National Institute on Aging, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, held a workshop, summarized herein, to review what is known, to identify research gaps at the interface of aging and IPF, and to suggest priority areas for future research. Efforts to answer the questions identified will require the integration of geriatrics, gerontology, and pulmonary research, but these efforts have great potential to improve care for patients with IPF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine