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Yale Physicians Explore Pulmonary Fibrosis and Related Comorbidities

September 08, 2022
by Jane E. Dee

A new video series produced by Medscape Video features physicians from the Department of Internal Medicine's Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine (Yale-PCCSM) section explaining the comorbidities associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), such as pulmonary hypertension, their effect on mortality and quality of life, and novel research strategies into new therapies.

The relationship between comorbidities and IPF, and whether they have a common origin, are subjects of continuing research and the focus of the video series, “Comorbidities in IPF, Compounding a Heavy Burden.”

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is associated with shortened lifespan and diminished quality of life. Mortality and quality of life can be further affected by comorbidities that often accompany IPF, including pulmonary hypertension, emphysema, lung cancer, coronary artery disease, sleep disordered breathing, anxiety, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

In the first episode, “Giving Comorbidities Their Due,” Danielle Antin-Ozerkis, MD, medical director, Yale Interstitial Lung Disease Center of Excellence, Winchester Center for Lung Disease, and Naftali Kaminski, MD, chief of Yale-PCCSM, discuss common IPF comorbidities, the burden they pose, the indications to treat them, and the potential mechanisms.

Many physicians have been slow to treat comorbidities in patients with IPF because of the negative prognosis, Antin-Ozerkis said. “In fact, there is a lot we can do, and we can really improve people’s quality of life.”

“There’s nihilism,” added Kaminski. “Our community should do a better job at projecting our commitment to the wellness of our patients by addressing IPF comorbidities.”

In the second episode, “Addressing Symptoms,” Phillip Joseph, MD, associate director of Yale-PCCSM’s Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program, addressed pulmonary hypertension. Arthur Hensel, a patient who was diagnosed with IPF and pulmonary hypertension in 2018, also appears in this episode

“The earlier you treat a patient with pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension, the less time they have to develop progressive disease,” Joseph explained.

In a third episode, “Promising Leads,” (coming soon) the Yale team discusses the potential for new drugs for IPF.

The Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine is one of the eleven sections within YSM’s Department of Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. To learn more about Yale-PCCSM, visit PCCSM’s website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Submitted by Jane E. Dee on September 08, 2022