Health and Economic Burden Rises Before an IPF Diagnosis, Study Finds

Health and Economic Burden Rises Before an IPF Diagnosis, Study Finds

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) increases a person’s health and economic burden years before it is diagnosed, a multi-year Canadian study shows.

The research, “Clinical and economic burden of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Quebec, Canada,” appeared in the journal ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research.

IPF is a progressive disease that diminishes a person’s quality of life. In addition to the health burden it represents, it can be expensive.

To better inform patients, doctors and policy-makers, a research team decided to evaluate the health and economic burdens of IPF in Quebec Province. They evaluated records collected between 2006 and 2011 in the province, which represents 23% of Canada’s population.

A total of 8,683 cases of IPF were reported in the five years, with an annual incidence rate of 21.7 people per 100,000. The average age at diagnosis was 74.5 years, and about 57% of patients were men.

The IPF patients had a three-year survival rate of 37.4% and a mean survival time after  diagnosis of 523 days, or about 1.4 years.

On average, IPF patients had four other diseases. The most common were other pulmonary diseases (81%), pulmonary infections (56%), and coronary artery disease without myocardial infarction (55%).

An analysis of healthcare resource use showed that IPF patients began needing more health support several years before their diagnosis. The typical pattern was resource use rising in the first year after diagnosis, then remaining high for the next two years.

Consistent with this increase in health resources, costs increased before and after an IPF diagnosis, and stayed high the next two years. Five years before their diagnosis, patients were spending $2,721 a year, and two years before their diagnosis $7,049. The figures were $12,978 two years after the diagnosis and $8,267 at three years after the diagnosis.

The team said the findings suggested that previous studies have underestimated the economic burden of IPF.

“Healthcare resource utilization and costs of IPF increase many years prior to diagnosis. Incorporating multiyear annual costs before and after diagnosis results in a higher estimate of the economic burden of IPF than previous studies using a 1-year time frame,” they concluded.

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  1. Prakash. Lakhapate says:

    My experience is different.My wife’s IPF was diagnosed in Jan 2007.After diagnosis she survived for 10 years.Of course we initially started with Steroid treatment. Due to side effects we had to stop the allopathy treatment. Then we started with Ayurveda Medicines and change in life style I.e stared Pranayama ,Yogasana and Proper diet.The disease was very much under control and could walk 2km per day and was doing all household work. Her health was much improved hence we went to attend a function.During that period her schedule got disturbed and her ,immunity decreased and she had Viral infection. She was unable to follow the lifestyle required due to sickness. Hence IPF progressed and heart failed to 35 % efficiency. We were helpless as lungs were damaged. After one year of that failure she died due to heart attack on 20th March 2017. In last 10 Years I guided more than 400 patients all over the world. I got good response. If anybody is interested can contact me for free guidance. Prakash Lakhapate plakhapate(at)gmail(dot)com. WhatsApp No. ++91 9867069587

    • Melinda says:

      Where do you live, please? I am in Florida.
      I have IPF and now on an expensive drug, Esbriet.
      Do you know much about this drug being helpful? I am in my second month. I cough a lot and have heavy mucus. I can walk well daily, but always seem to have to control the coughing with sugarless menthol cough drops that stop the coughing right away, but comes back soon.
      My email address is [email protected].
      Anything you can share would be great.

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