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Friday, December 6, 2013
How long is life expectancy of someone with advanced stages of disease? Father was just put on oxygen and doctors sayit is too far gone. Please help?
The usual survival is approximately 3-5 years from the time of initial diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Once patients require supplemental oxygen, the life expectancy is considerably less. The pulmonary function tests can also be useful to determine prognosis; the FVC (forced vital capacity) and diffusing capacity are particularly useful and the lower these values, the more advanced the disease.
However, for any given patient, the life expectancy cannot be predicted with perfect accuracy and there are some patients whose survival is less than or greater than the average. It is important to try to make the time left as high quality life as possible. Some of the things that can help include supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation, and control of cough.
James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University