Poverty associated with worse survival, fewer lung transplan
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Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a rare lung disease that causes shortness of breath and low oxygen levels because of lung scarring, have worse outcomes if they live in poor neighborhoods, according to research presented at the ATS 2021 International Conference.

Investigators sought to determine how environmental and occupational factors contribute to the development and progression of IPF. As measured by the Area Deprivation Index, people who live in areas with high neighborhood-level disadvantage experience disparities in housing, poverty, employment, and education. These social determinants of health impact the outcome of many chronic diseases.

People are more likely to develop IPF or other forms of interstitial lung disease (ILD) if they have worked in an occupation that has significant exposure to airborne materials. For example, individuals exposed to asbestos, silica, wood chippings, or numerous other materials through their work are at a higher risk of developing ILD than individuals without those exposures. Smoking is also a very important risk factor that contributes to the development of IPF in many patients and exposure to air pollution.

"Our preliminary data from our single-center study indicates that neighborhood-level disadvantage may be associated with increased mortality and reduced odds of receiving a lung transplant in patients with IPF," stated the study author.

Policies and legislation that promote more equitable environments and reduce the burden of poverty in our society may help to alleviate the disparities we see in outcomes of patients with IPF.

Source: https://conference.thoracic.org/program/abstract-search.php?sid=P6760
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