CHICAGO, IL | September 1, 2022
There are more than 200 different types of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a medical term for permanent scarring of the lungs that makes it difficult to breathe. During September, Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, the American Lung Association is raising awareness about this chronic lung disease, highlighting promising research and urging Americans to help fund more clinical studies to better prevent and treat the disease.
The most common type of PF is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This means there is no known cause. Approximately 50,000 new cases of IPF are diagnosed each year. Currently, there is no cure for PF, but there are treatment options available for people living with the disease, including medications, oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. In the most severe cases, a lung transplant may be needed.
“There is still much we don’t know about PF, so more research is urgently needed to identify the risk factors, find treatments to help people live better with the disease, and ultimately, find a cure,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO for the American Lung Association. “Fortunately, the Lung Association is well positioned to seek answers that unlock the mysteries of pulmonary fibrosis. We are proud of our elite research team for their work on this truly devastating disease.”
The Lung Association currently funds several innovative research projects to help better understand the causes and progression of PF. A few of these researchers include:
- Nunzia Caporarello, Ph.D., from the Mayo clinic who is studying the role of the blood vessels of the lung in the development of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Dr. Edy Kim, M.D., Ph.D. from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is focusing on a less commonly studied type of lung scarring called unclassifiable lung fibrosis.
- Ruogang Zhao, Ph.D. at the University of Buffalo is studying how the immune system is involved in the development of lung fibrosis.
Learn more about the Lung Association’s research at Lung.org/Research.
For people living with PF, the American Lung Association provides several resources, including the Better Breathers Network, online and in-person support communities, and critical information about clinical trials, health insurance and financial assistance. The Better Breathers Network is generously sponsored Inspire, the vital health community where millions of patients and caregivers come to share personal health experiences and find support for one another.
Learn more at Lung.org/PF.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
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