In a recent study, researchers report that acute respiratory worsening increases morbidity regardless of an idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) diagnosis.

In total, the team analyzed 220 patients divided into two groups: 100 with an IPF diagnosis and 120 non-IPF, comprising a total of 311 hospital admissions for acute respiratory worsening.

Researchers found that 52 percent of the hospital admissions were for suspected acute exacerbation, 20 percent were for infection, and 15 percent were for sub-acute progression of disease. In-hospital mortality rates registered no differences between IPF compared to non-IPF patients, with IPF registering 55 percent, and non-IPF patients 45 percent. This mortality rate was, however, significantly worse in suspected acute exacerbation admission cases. After discharge, the survival rate for patients with suspected acute exacerbation and patients admitted with secondary characteristics of acute respiratory worsening was similar in IPF and non-IPF groups.

The study’s lead author, Teng Moua, MD, from the Mayo Clinic’s division of pulmonary and critical care medicine, and colleagues concluded in a news release, “Our findings suggest significant morbidity for all [fibrotic interstitial lung disease (f-ILD)] patients hospitalized with [acute respiratory worsening]. While focus in the initial management of these patients may be to delineate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis from non-IPF disease and acute exacerbation from known causes of acute respiratory worsening, overall in-hospital mortality appears to be no different between the two groups.”

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