Agricultural workers, veterinarians, and steel and metal industry workers are at higher risk of developing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a new study from central Italy reports.

The findings also showed that organic dust, metal dust, and fumes are risk factors for the disease.

The study, “Occupational risk factors for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Southern Europe: a case-control study,” was published in the journal BMC Pulmonary Medicine.

A diagnosis of IPF requires the exclusion of other causes of idiopathic lung disease and the presence of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) on a high-resolution chest tomography (HRCT) scan, and specific combinations of CT scans and surgical lung biopsy patterns.