Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis increases a person’s health and economic burden years before it is diagnosed, a multi-year Canadian study shows.

The research, “Clinical and economic burden of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Quebec, Canada,” appeared in the journal ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research.

IPF is a progressive disease that diminishes a person’s quality of life. In addition to the health burden it represents, it can be expensive.

To better inform patients, doctors and policy-makers, a research team decided to evaluate the health and economic burdens of IPF in Quebec Province. They evaluated records collected between 2006 and 2011 in the province, which represents 23% of Canada’s population.