Factors that may make you more susceptible to interstitial lung disease include:

  • Age. Interstitial lung disease is much more likely to affect adults, although infants and children are sometimes affected.
  • Exposure to occupational and environmental toxins. If you work in mining, farming or construction or for any reason are exposed to environmental agents known to damage your lungs, your risk of interstitial lung disease may be increased.
  • Family history. There is evidence that some forms of interstitial lung disease are heritable and your risk of developing it is increased if close family members have the disease.
  • Radiation and chemotherapy/immunomodulatory drugs. Having radiation treatments to your chest or using some chemotherapy or immunomodulatory drugs may increase your risk of interstitial lung disease.
  • Smoking. Some forms of interstitial lung disease are more likely to occur in people with a history of smoking, and active smoking may make the condition worse, especially if there is associated emphysema.
June 11, 2015