Timing of onset of symptoms in people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Thomas Hewson, Tricia M. McKeever, Jack E. Gibson, Vidya Navaratnam, Richard B. Hubbard, John P. Hutchinson

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about when symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis first develop. We identified incident cases of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis-clinical syndrome (IPF-CS) from a UK primary care database and assessed the frequency of consultations for common symptoms in the 5 years prior to diagnosis. 1671 cases were identified with 5 years of data prior to diagnosis. Breathlessness was the most common symptom, followed by cough. Cases were significantly more likely than controls to experience these symptoms (p<0.001), even 4-5 years before diagnosis (OR for breathlessness for this period 2.79, 95% CI 2.13 to 3.65). This suggests that some patients with IPF may be symptomatic for more than 5 years before diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-685
Number of pages3
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical epidemiology
  • idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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