Carla Murez Health Day Reporter
WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Black patients are dying from pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive Scarring is characteristic of the devastating disease, and the age of onset is significantly younger than in Caucasian patients.
A new study examines the factors that contribute to earlier morbidity, hospitalization and death in black patients.
This disease involves thickening and scarring of lung tissue, making it difficult to breathe. It can come from exposure to toxins, drugs, or an autoimmune disease. About half of patients die within five years of a pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis.
“Pulmonary fibrosis is a fatal disease that is often diagnosed when people retire,” said lead author Ayodeji Adegunsoye, MD, assistant professor of medicine at UChicago Medicine . And then when you’re about to retire, you’re diagnosed with a disease with a life expectancy of about three years,” he said in a center news conference.
Researchers looked at data from four U.S. hospitals, tracking the outcomes of more than 4,500 patients between January 2003 and April 2021.
On average, black patients were diagnosed at 57.9 years and white patients at 68.6 years.
Black patients were more likely to be female, And more likely, researchers found, were more likely to be hospitalized than white and Hispanic patients. Black patients were consistently younger at first hospitalization, lung transplant and death.
Adegunsoye said His work with patients led to this research in Chicago’s impoverished South Side.
The poor prognosis made me wonder if black patients were affected by the disease in the same way as whites, and whether they experienced different outcomes,” Adegunsoye said. “We saw about a 10-year acceleration in the time to the disease in black patients.”
According to the study, these differences may be related to putting black patients at higher risk lifestyle and socioeconomic factors.
“For example, black people are more likely to live along transportation corridors, exposing them to more air pollution,” Adegunsoye said. “They are also more likely to be underinsured or uninsured. Being black is not a health risk; it is environmental and social factors that make it difficult for black patients to access quality care.”
Risk factors for the disease include air pollution, inhalation Jobs with higher risk of particulate matter
Adegunsoye said the findings are significant and everyone should be screened for the disease early, especially those with risk factors.
“If you can catch the disease earlier, outcomes improve,” he said. “We know more about the disease now than we did even 10 years ago, and while there’s no cure, there are treatments available — some of which are as simple as changing your environment or wearing a mask to reduce environmental exposure, but there are There are also drugs that can slow disease progression.”
While not all coughs are a sign of pulmonary fibrosis, symptoms need to be carefully evaluated by patients and their care teams, he said.
his team now The role of molecular mechanisms and environmental exposures in racial differences is being investigated.
Researchers say , understanding how pollution, diet and stress alter human biology may help shed light on why and how some patients end up with pulmonary fibrosis.
They are also investigating whether infection with COVID-19 increases the risk of pulmonary fibrosis.
Adegunsoye says he just wants patients to get what they need when they need it, including advice on how to protect the lungs from pollutants and irritants is preventing multiple lung fibrosis information on an easy way to simplify.
“If you work in a refinery or a factory, something as simple as wearing a mask might help,” he said. “People should understand that breathing clean air, as simple as it sounds, can make a huge difference.”
The findings were published March 10 in JAMA Network Open .
The American Lung Association has more information on pulmonary fibrosis.
Source: University of Chicago Medicine, Press Release, March 10, 2023