Age is Just a Number for People with IPF

Have you ever heard that we only use 10% of our brains?

How about the fact that lightning never strikes the same place twice? Maybe you know the five-second rule.

All of these are examples of long-held beliefs that turned out not to be true. It turns out that even educated people, doctors, and scientists, can be wrong.

Back in the day, leading thinkers thought the sun revolved around the earth. That is until we developed technology accurate enough to measure the data and prove the heliocentric model of the universe, thanks Copernicus. The point is, as we learn new things, we must revisit the “knowledge” of the past to understand our future. That’s why a new study by the Korean Interstitial Lung Disease Research Group concerning

The point is, as we learn new things, we must revisit the “knowledge” of the past to understand our future. That’s why a new study by the Korean Interstitial Lung Disease Research Group concerning idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and age is so interesting.

It has long been believed that the age at which you are diagnosed with IPF has a direct relationship to the prognosis.

The older you are when you are diagnosed, the shorter the time you have left to live. This seems to follow perfect logic. However, an article from the Journal of Thoracic Disease seems to show that there is no significant correlation between the two.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease wherein the lungs become more and more scarred over time. There is no way to reverse or repair the scarring once it has started. However, new medicines are available that slow the progression of the disease.

In the study, more than 1500 people with IPF were categorized by age: over 70, between 60 and 69, and below 60. Detailed histories were used to further evaluate contributing factors for understanding longevity. Some of the criteria included smoking history, gender, and other health related conditions.

When analyzed, removing as many variables as possible, the differences in the survival rates were statistically insignificant. The observed tendency for people diagnosed at an older age to progress and succumb to the disease more quickly is related to the other health concerns facing that demographic that are not present in the younger demographics.

When we look at people with comparable medical histories, the prognosis and survival rate are similar.

You can see how the observable facts can skew the data because of variables that are not always clear from the beginning. Think of all those scientists who believed the sun rotated around the earth. It’s the same concept.

Let’s hope that this increased knowledge of IPF factors can help discover a cure for this tragic disease.

Click here to read more about the article from the medical journal.


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