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Does ILD affect adults?

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) can happen in both kids and adults. ILD that starts in adulthood is usually very different from chILD. This is because different things cause problems in the lungs of children. Also, children’s lungs are still growing and will continue to change for years. Adult bodies handle ILD differently from what we see in children with ILD. 

Children with chILD usually keep these diseases as they grow into adulthood. As we do a better job at diagnosing and treating chILD, there will be more adults living with chILD. 

There are some areas where childhood and adulthood ILD overlap.  

Figure 1: The relationship between chILD disorders and adult lung disease diagnoses. Some diagnoses are just found in children or just in adults. Some occur in both children and adults.  

(NEHI=Neuroendocrine Hyperplasia of Infancy, PIG=Pulmonary Interstitial Glycogenosis, SFTPB=Surfactant Protein B, BOOP=Bronchiolitis Obliterans with Organizing Pneumonia, COP=Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia, OB=Obliterative Bronchiolitis, LIP=Lymphocytic Interstitial Pneumonia, SFTPC=Surfactant Protein C, ABCA3=ATP binding cassette protein, NSIP=Non-Specific Interstitial Pneumonia, NKX2-1=NK homeobox 1 is involved with Thyroid Transcription Factor 1, TERT=alters telomerase transcriptase (TERT) expression, DIPNECH=Diffuse idiopathic pulmonary neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia, SFTPA=Surfactant Protein A, MUC5B=variation in the MUC5B airway mucin gene, IPF=Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, UIP=Usual Interstitial Pneumonia, AIP=Acute Interstitial Pneumonitis) 

Children are not small adults and the forms of ILD are different. Children who have or may have chILD should see a pediatric pulmonologist (lung doctor for children). Families that have lung disease in multiple family members should also reach out to a pulmonologist who is part of the chILD Research Network. 



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