Clinical and functional outcomes in Middle Eastern patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Esam H Alhamad, Mohamed Masood, Shaffi Ahmad Shaik, Maha Arafah
Clinical Respiratory Journal 2008, 2 (4): 220-6

BACKGROUND: Baseline clinical and physiological variables have been described as relevant predictors of survival among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). However, substantial heterogeneity in both survival time and mortality has been observed with many of these predictive factors. The incidence and mortality rates of IPF vary from country to country, with race potentially contributing to such variations.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to describe baseline clinical features to determine their predictive value among Middle Eastern patients diagnosed with IPF.

METHODS: We retrospectively examined 61 patients diagnosed with IPF at a university hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

RESULTS: At presentation, most patients exhibited either dyspnea or cough. The median survival time for all patients was 92 months. Diminished survival was significantly associated with finger clubbing (P = 0.01). Factors not influencing survival were age, gender, percent predicted forced vital capacity, percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s, percent predicted total lung capacity, percent predicted diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide and resting oxygen saturation.

CONCLUSIONS: Finger clubbing is a significant predictive variable and was associated with a 5-fold increase in mortality. Other baseline demographic characteristics as well as pulmonary function tests were not predictive of prognosis in Middle Eastern patients with IPF. It appears that IPF patients of Middle Eastern descent have a longer median survival curve compared to other races.

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