Find Support. Give Support. Get Support.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) believes participating in a sup- port group may improve your emotional well-being and have a positive impact on your health by offering you an opportuni- ty to connect with others who are facing similar experiences to obtain practical information, and to receive support. Please visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/life-with- pf/support-groups to find a group in your area.
There are many online groups you might get involved in but attending a meeting where you can see people face-to-face is an added benefit! You will also be able to find valuable educational resources at the PFF web site including an hour-long video on Nutrition and Interstitial Lung Disease.
Dentist Office Mystery
Health officials have identified a group of dentists who died of a mysterious lung dis- ease. A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nine dentists in Virginia were found to have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) between the years 2000 and 2015. The researchers found 894 people diagnosed with IPF at a medical center in Virginia. Dentists made up just 1 percent of the people documented in the study but about 23 times higher than expected.
Past research has linked IPF to jobs that involve exposure to dust, wood dust and metal dust. Some other suspected causes include tobacco smoke and viral infections. This is the first study to find a possible association with dentistry and IPF. Dentists and other dental personnel have unique exposures at work. These exposures include bacteria, viruses, dusts, gases, radiation and other respiratory hazards. The likelihood of exposure to dusts and airborne chemicals is less than in the past, but still there for many dentists, particularly if they trained long ago and haven’t kept up with environ- mental and workplace warnings. Experts recommend dental workers wear certified respiratory masks if they are working in any environment that might result in respiratory hazards.
Fibrosis Research Developments
The American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology published a study that suggests increasing the pro- duction of lipids in the lungs may help slow pulmonary fibrosis progression and potentially lead to new treatment options. Pulmonary lipids, also called surfactants, play a key role in lung flexibility to help the lung sacs open up when breathing. This suggests that the body’s failure to produce lipids, perhaps due to injury or age-related changes, may be a factor in development of lung fibrosis. Scientists are now working on developing a therapy based on these find- ings to help those with pulmonary fibrosis.
Using statins to prevent cardiovascular disease is safe for those with IPF, accord- ing to an analysis of trial data on the IPF therapy Ofev (nintedanib). Statin therapy does not contribute to lung function decline or diminish Ofev’s effectiveness in IPF, researchers said. Their analysis of data from the INPULSIS trials appeared in the journal Respiration.
A lung transplant is the only way to cure IPF. Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ofev (nintedanib) preserved the lung function of nine people with IPF waiting for a lung transplant, according to a study in the journal Respirology Case Reports. Ofev fights lung tissue scarring. Seven people had lost an average of 7.8 percent of their lung function before starting Ofev. The measure researchers used was forced vital capacity – the amount of air a person can exhale after taking the deepest breath possible. Once Ofev was started, the lung function decline of eight of them averaged only 3.2 percent over 12 weeks.
Worldwide Clinical Studies
A Phase 2 clinical trial showed Reata Pharmaceutical’s experimental medication, bardoxolone methyl, significantly improved the exercise capacity of people with idio- pathic lung disease (ILD) associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) The ongoing LARIAT study (NCT02036970) is evaluating the safety and efficacy of bardoxolone in people with PAH associated with several lung diseases. They include IPF, sarcoidosis, connective tissue disorder, and idiopathic interstitial pneumonia.