Prevalence and Incidence

THERE ARE NO RELIABLE DATA TO DETERMINE how many people are affected by PF, possibly due to the large number of conditions under which it can arise. However, one recent study estimates the prevalence of all ILDs in the United States (US) at about 500,000, with IPF being the most common.3 In the US, IPF affects between 132,000–200,000 people.4 Approximately 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and as many as 40,000 Americans die from IPF each year.4 There is limited information on the prevalence of IPF in the European Union (EU). The current estimate of the incidence of IPF in the EU is between 37,000 and 40,000 people, and in the United Kingdom more than 5,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.5 More importantly, it is anticipated that the number of individuals diagnosed with IPF will continue to increase. This is likely to be a result of people living longer, an improved clinical understanding of IPF, and earlier and more accurate diagnosis.6

IPF has no specific demographic profile; it is found in equal proportions in urban and rural environments. A history of smoking and certain genetic factors has been associated with an increased risk of IPF, and a variety of published studies have indicated that about two-thirds of individuals with IPF have a history of smoking (see Causes).7 IPF affects more men than women and usually occurs between the ages of 50 and 70.

The median age at time of diagnosis is approximately 63 years old according to a variety of published studies; however, IPF has been diagnosed in people from early adulthood into their late eighties.6It is clear that age is a significant risk for the development of pulmonary fibrosis.6

< Defining Pulmonary Fibrosis | Causes >

Updated April 2013
This information has been approved by Gregory P. Cosgrove, MD (September 2012)