The outcomes of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) who undergo hospitalization have not been well characterized. We sought to determine the frequency of all-cause and respiratory-related hospitalizations and to evaluate their impact on the subsequent course and survival of patients with IPF.
The records of patients with IPF evaluated at a tertiary center were examined for the cause and duration of hospitalization. Data on subsequent patient outcomes were collated.
The IPF cohort consisted of 592 patients, 25.3% of whom were hospitalized subsequent to their IPF diagnosis. A respiratory-related cause accounted for 77.3% of these hospitalizations. The median transplant-free survival for all patients was 23.3 months (interquartile range [IQR], 7.6-63.6 months) from the time of consultation. Transplant-free survival after hospital admission was much lower for patients with a respiratory hospitalization compared with those with a nonrespiratory hospitalization (median survival, 2.8 months [IQR, 0.63-16.2 months] vs 27.7 months [IQR, 7.4-59.6 months]; P = .0004). Multivariate analyses demonstrated that both all-cause and respiratory-related hospitalizations were strongly associated with mortality after adjusting for baseline demographics. Among patients with a respiratory hospitalization, 22.4% died while in the hospital, whereas 16.4% eventually went on to lung transplantation.
Hospitalizations are common events in patients with IPF. Most hospitalizations are respiratory-related and are associated with high in-hospital mortality and limited survival beyond discharge. Both all-cause and respiratory hospitalizations are associated with mortality, and therefore, either could be used as an end point in IPF clinical trials.