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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis

06/16/2009

Question:

My father in law was just diagnosed.. He is almost 70 years old and has CoPD and emphyzema and heart problems. How will all other problems advance this disease??

Answer:

As any patient develops more than one serious chronic disease, each additional disease can affect the person's overall prognosis and limit one's daily function and life expectancy more than a patient with a single serious chronic disease.

Patients with emphysema have already lost lung capacity, depending on the severity of the emphysema. Therefore, it does not take too much pulmonary fibrosis to cause severe limitation. The speed of the fibrosis is likely not going to be affected but in patients with bad heart disease or emphysema, they are already starting at a reduced functional baseline, so they may appear to progress more rapidly than those with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis alone.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University