Cough warns of advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Cough warns of advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis who cough are more likely to develop advanced forms of the disease, according to new research.

While shortness of breath has long been an indicator of an advanced form of the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, little was known until now about the significance of coughing.

Researchers discovered that the cough was present in 84 per cent of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients and signalled rapid progression of the disease.

The cough was also more commonly found in those with an advanced form of the disease and those who had never smoked.

"These findings improve our understanding of cough in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis," stated Dr Christopher Ryerson, lead researcher on the project.

"The reason for the association between cough and never having smoked is unknown, but may provide insight into the pathogenesis of cough in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis," he added.

Pirfenidone is thought to reduce the rate of decline of lung function in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

In two trials, it was found that patients who had taken pirfenidone had better survival rates than those who had taken a placebo.

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