Interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) include a variety of parenchymal lung diseases. The most common types of ILDs are idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), autoimmune ILDs and hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). There is limited real world data on care patterns of patients with chronic fibrosing ILDs with a progressive phenotype other than IPF. Therefore, the aim of this study is to describe care patterns in these patients.
This retrospective cohort study used claims data from 2015 to 2019 from the Optum Research Database. The study population included adults (≥ 18 years old) with at least two diagnosis codes for fibrosing ILD during the identification period (1OCT2016 to 31DEC2018). A claim-based algorithm for disease progression was used to identify patients likely to have a progressive fibrotic phenotype using progression proxies during the identification period. Index date was the first day of progression proxy identification after fibrosing ILD diagnosis. Patients were required to have continuous enrollment for 12 months before (baseline) and after (follow-up) index date. Patients with an IPF diagnosis were excluded. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the patient population and care patterns.
11,204 patients were included in the study. Mean age of the patient population was 72.7 years, and 54.5% were female. Unclassified ILDs (48.0%), HP (25.2%) and autoimmune ILDs (16.0%) were the most common ILD types. Other respiratory conditions were prevalent among patients including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (58.9%), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (25.0%) and pulmonary hypertension (9.8%). During baseline, 65.3% of all patients had at least one pulmonology visit, this proportion was higher during follow-up, at 70.6%. Baseline and follow-up use for HRCT were 39.9% and 48.8%, and for pulmonary function tests were 43.7% and 48.5% respectively. Use of adrenal corticosteroids was higher during follow-up than during baseline (62.5% vs. 58.0%). Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medication classes were filled by a higher percentage of patients during follow-up than during baseline.
Comprehensive testing is essential for diagnosis of a progressive phenotype condition, but diagnostic tests were underutilized. Patients with this condition frequently were prescribed anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medications.

© 2022. The Author(s).