University of Oulu

Salonen, J., Purokivi, M., Hodgson, U., & Kaarteenaho, R. (2022). National data on prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and antifibrotic drug use in Finnish specialised care. BMJ Open Respiratory Research, 9(1), e001363.

National data on prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and antifibrotic drug use in Finnish specialised care

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Author: Salonen, Johanna1,2; Purokivi, Minna3; Hodgson, Ulla4,5;
Organizations: 1Respiratory Medicine, Research Unit of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Center of Internal and Respiratory Medicine, Medical Research Center (MRC) Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
3Center of Medicine and Clinical Research, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
4Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
5Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: BMJ, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-15


Introduction: The previous data concerning the prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and the frequency of antifibrotic drug use in Finland were based on research registries and medical records whereas nationwide data on the number of patients with IPF in specialised care and those on antifibrotic treatment have not been published.

Methods: We made an information request to the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register (Hilmo) covering the whole population of Finland to find out the annual numbers of patients with IPF treated in specialised care in 2016–2021. The numbers of the patients initiating and using pirfenidone and nintedanib were requested from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) for the same time period.

Results: The estimated prevalence of IPF in specialised care was 36.0 per 100 000 in 2021, having increased since 2016. The number of antifibrotic drug users and their proportion of outpatients with IPF had also risen during the follow-up period. In 2021, 35% of the patients with IPF used pirfenidone or nintedanib. The number of inpatients treated in specialised care because of IPF had declined during 2016−2021.

Conclusions: The prevalence of IPF was higher than expected in Finnish specialised care and had increased during the 6-year follow-up time. The increase in the number of patients with IPF using antifibrotic drugs might have diminished the need for IPF-related hospitalisations.

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Series: BMJ open respiratory research
ISSN: 2052-4439
ISSN-E: 2052-4439
ISSN-L: 2052-4439
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Article number: e001363
DOI: 10.1136/bmjresp-2022-001363
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This work has been supported by a state subsidy of Oulu University Hospital, the Research Foundation of Pulmonary Diseases, Helsinki, Finland and the Research Foundation of North Finland.
Copyright information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: