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Causes of IPF

The cause of IPF is not completely understood. Idiopathic means “of unknown origin”. Some researchers believe that IPF may result from an autoimmune disorder, a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.

Common risk factors for IPF may include:

  • Genetics (family history)
  • Cigarette smoking
    • People who smoke or former smokers are more likely to develop pulmonary fibrosis than people who have never smoked
  • Acid reflux (GERD)
  • Age (majority of people are over the age of 50)
  • Certain strong medications (e.g. antibiotics, chemotherapy)