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What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis (also known as interstitial lung disease or ILD) is a long-term disease where the lungs (pulmonary) become scarred (fibrosis). The scarring causes the part of the lung where oxygen is moved to the blood (interstitial) to become thick and stiff. If the reason or cause of the disease is unknown, it is called idiopathic. Some people refer to pulmonary fibrosis as a restrictive disease because it is hard to fully expand the lungs when taking a breath in i.e., the lungs are restricted when taking a breath in. 

How Common is Pulmonary Fibrosis? 

Pulmonary fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are a subgroup of interstitial lung diseases called interstitial pneumonia. IPF is the most common of the Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs), affecting 14,000 to 15,000 Canadians.  It is more common in males over the age of 50.  

To learn more about IPF visit our Lung Health Materials to download and read What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)?  in the IPF Handbook.