Inhalational exposures in patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease: Presentation, pulmonary function and survival in the Canadian Registry for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Conferences uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Inhalational exposures are a known cause of interstitial lung disease (ILD), but little is understood about their prevalence across ILD subtypes and their relationship with pulmonary function and survival. METHODS: Patients with fibrotic ILD were identified from the multicentre Canadian Registry for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Patients completed questionnaires regarding ILD-related occupational and environmental exposures. The relationship between exposures and the outcomes of baseline age, gender, family history, pulmonary function and survival was analysed using linear and logistic regression models, linear mixed-effect regression models and survival analysis using multivariable Cox proportional hazards along with the log-rank test. RESULTS: There were 3820 patients included in this study, with 2385 (62%) having ILD-related inhalational exposure. Exposed patients were younger, particularly in the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis subgroup. Inhalational exposure was associated with male gender (adjusted OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.28-1.68, p < 0.001) and family history of pulmonary fibrosis (adjusted OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.40-2.15, p < 0.001). Patients with any inhalational exposure had improved transplant-free survival (hazard ratio 0.81, 95% CI 0.71-0.92, p = 0.001); this effect persisted across diagnostic subtypes. The relationship between exposures and annual change in forced vital capacity varied by ILD subtype. CONCLUSION: Patients with fibrotic ILD report high prevalence of inhalational exposures across ILD subtypes. These exposures were associated with younger age at diagnosis, male gender and family history of pulmonary fibrosis. Identification of an inhalational exposure was associated with a survival benefit. These findings suggest that inhaled exposures may impact clinical outcomes in patients with ILD, and future work should characterize the mechanisms underlying these relationships.


  • Lee, Cathryn T
  • Strek, Mary E
  • Adegunsoye, Ayodeji
  • Wong, Alyson W
  • Assayag, Deborah
  • Cox, Gerard
  • Fell, Charlene D
  • Fisher, Jolene H
  • Gershon, Andrea S
  • Halayko, Andrew J
  • Hambly, Nathan
  • Khalil, Nasreen
  • Kolb, Martin Rainer
  • Lok, Stacey D
  • Manganas, Hélène
  • Marcoux, Veronica
  • Morisset, Julie
  • Sadatsafavi, Mohsen
  • Shapera, Shane
  • To, Teresa
  • Wilcox, Pearce
  • Ryerson, Christopher J
  • Johannson, Kerri A

publication date

  • August 2022