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Recent Advances in Chest Medicine |

Air Pollution ExposureAir Pollution and Interstitial Lung Disease: A Novel Environmental Risk Factor for Interstitial Lung Disease?

Kerri A. Johannson, MD; John R. Balmes, MD, FCCP; Harold R. Collard, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Medicine (Drs Johannson, Balmes, and Collard), University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; Division of Environmental Health Sciences (Drs Johannson and Balmes), School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; and Department of Medicine (Dr Johannson), University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Kerri A. Johannson, MD, University of Calgary, 4448 Front St SE, Calgary, AB, T3M-1M4, Canada; e-mail: kerri.johannson@albertahealthservices.ca


FUNDING/SUPPORT: Dr Johannson was supported by the GlaxoSmithKline/University of Calgary Advanced Fellowship in Respirology.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;147(4):1161-1167. doi:10.1378/chest.14-1299
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Air pollution exposure is a well-established risk factor for several adverse respiratory outcomes, including airways diseases and lung cancer. Few studies have investigated the relationship between air pollution and interstitial lung disease (ILD) despite many forms of ILD arising from environmental exposures. There are potential mechanisms by which air pollution could cause, exacerbate, or accelerate the progression of certain forms of ILD via pulmonary and systemic inflammation as well as oxidative stress. This article will review the current epidemiologic and translational data supporting the plausibility of this relationship and propose a new conceptual framework for characterizing novel environmental risk factors for these forms of lung disease.

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