An increased incidence of lung cancer is well known among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. It is not known whether interstitial lung abnormalities, i.e. early fibrotic changes of the lung, are a risk factor for lung cancer in the general population. The study’s objective was to assess whether interstitial lung abnormalities were associated with diagnoses of, and mortality from, lung cancer and other cancers. Data from the AGES-Reykjavik study, a cohort of 5764 older Icelandic adults, were used. Outcome data were ascertained from electronic medical records. Gray’s tests, Cox proportional hazards models and proportional subdistribution hazards models were used to analyse associations of interstitial lung abnormalities with lung cancer diagnoses and lung cancer mortality as well as diagnoses and mortality from all cancers.