12 Facts About Pulmonary Fibrosis Prognosis and Life Expectancy

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic and progressive lung disease where the air sac in the lungs (alveoli) becomes scarred and stiff making it difficult to breathe and get enough oxygen into the bloodstream. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to PF prognosis and life expectancy, so we’ve put together a list of important facts to know with help from Pulmonary Fibrosis MD, the Lung Institute, and healthline.com.

  • The overall prognosis of someone with pulmonary fibrosis will differ from person to person depending on their age, overall health, lifestyle choices and the severity of the disease when diagnosed.
  • There are four different stages of pulmonary fibrosis: mild, moderate, severe and very severe.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis patients are advised to undergo pulmonary rehabilitation where they will learn all about the disease, the treatments available, breathing techniques and be placed on an exercise program.

MORE: Seven reasons why pulmonary rehabilitation is important for PF patients.


  1. John Shaw says:

    Too many pop ups, plus I don’t really beleive some of your facts, ie: death in 3-5 years, not true, thats an old myth.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Hi John… these facts are those universal guidelines that are “accepted” by doctors and researchers. However, that does not mean that they are set in stone. Many people live much longer than 5 years. In many cases up to 15.

      • Judy Franklin says:

        I am 63, never had any health problems, never smoked and a little over weight. My husband has irritable bowel syndrome so we eat a lot of chicken, fish and vegetables.

        I was coughing over a year and had shortness of breath, and was being treated for asthma. My son told me I needed to see a Pulmonary Doctor. I went to him in Feb 2017 and was diagnosed in April after all the tests. I am taking Ofev and praying, trying to eat right and exercising.

        I will pray for you all. I am scared to because of the unknown,
        I have claimed Psalms 118:17 (read God’s word and have someone pray with you. This is our only hope.

        • Jeffrey Carter says:

          I have had IPF for 3 years… so far so good, no noticeable problems… I am on the Paleo diet, no starches, basically… bread, potatoes, rice, etc. That’s it so far… No medications.

  2. I have PF am being treated for autoimmune pf w/ micofenolate 1000mg. BID. Was turned down for lung trans. due to kidney problems that disappeared after I quit using ( Etodalac ) a pain med the VA had put me on. Have not been back w/ the Drs at Wash U. /Barnes in St. Louis since I got the clean bill. Don’t know if they will reconsider or not.I showed 80% lung function on stress testing –but took 6 liter of O2 after 2 min walking on level surface and they don’t know why. Have had broncoscopic exams and biopsies and all of their tests.

  3. Islam says:

    I have a lung fibrosis ( on lower lobules of the lung). Diagnosed in 2015. Taking mucinac 600 twice daily.
    Plz suggest the life style or any medicine which will improve my condition. I am 36 years old.

  4. Gary Ford says:

    Warmest regards to all the above and best wishes…I was diagnosed with IPF 30 Jul ’15 with 50% lung capacity…at that the time there were no meds that were accepted in Canada, not until Jan ’14, but due to government bureaucracy it took until Sep ’14 to actually get on Esbriet. Living with IPF is NOT fun as it slowly robs you of your health and you become more dependent on your family to help you do the basic of chores. I retired 2 years ago to spend more time with my family. I was placed on the lung transplant list at Toronto General Hospital Multi Organ Transplant clinic Jan ’17 and received a double lung transplant 14 Apr ’17…praise the Lord. I am almost back to 100% of what I was pre-surgically and each and every day I get a little stronger. There seems to be some major questions and I would be glad to relate to them through my experience as well…I highly recommend joining a blog that discusses PF, such as Canadian Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis has excellent articles and stories from patients..good luck to all and God bless.

  5. Jeffrey Carter says:

    Sorry, I replied above, I didn’t get to the bottom of this… I was diagnosed with IPF in 2015, …. I recommend the Paleo diet. Carbohydrates, starches, make acid, which may permeate the stomach wall and go directly into the blood stream… the body reacts as if a disease is attacking… Cut out the carbs and the acid reduces to manageable levels, apparently… It’s a bit expensive, but I lost weight and have not taken any medications for the past 3 years… Of course, there are other causes that have nothing to do with leaky gut, but this seems to have been a key problem… Still nervous about it though.

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