It is sometimes unclear what the relationship between IPF symptoms and risk factors are, but research is ongoing. We don’t know exactly what causes people to develop IPF, however, there are several things that increase a person’s risk of developing IPF. They include:

  • cigarette smoking;
  • environmental and occupational exposures like pollution;
  • microbial agents (chronic viral infection);
  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and
  • someone else in your family who has pulmonary fibrosis.¹⁴
Figure 7: IPF risk factors (adapted from: ¹)

Figure 7: IPF risk factors (adapted from: ¹)