Factors that make you more susceptible to pulmonary fibrosis include:

  • Age. Although pulmonary fibrosis has been diagnosed in children and infants, the disorder is much more likely to affect middle-aged and older adults.
  • Smoking. Far more smokers and former smokers develop pulmonary fibrosis than do people who have never smoked. Pulmonary fibrosis can occur in patients with emphysema.
  • Your occupation. You have an increased risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis if you work in mining, farming or construction or if you're exposed to pollutants known to damage your lungs.
  • Cancer treatments. Having radiation treatments to your chest or using certain chemotherapy drugs makes you more susceptible to pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Genetic factors. Some types of pulmonary fibrosis appear to run in families, so a genetic component is suspected.
Mar. 18, 2014