Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

mother helping young son with at home inhalation Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a  genetic  condition that affects a protein in the body. People who have cystic fibrosis have a faulty protein that affects the body’s cells, its tissues, and the glands that make mucus and sweat.

Normal mucus is slippery and protects the airways, digestive tract, and other organs and tissues. Cystic fibrosis causes mucus to become thick and sticky. As mucus builds up, it can cause blockages, damage, or infections in affected organs.

Cystic fibrosis used to cause death in childhood. Survival has improved because of medical discoveries and advances in newborn screening, medicines, nutrition, and lung transplants. Nearly 40,000 children and adults in the United States and more than 100,000 worldwide are now living with cystic fibrosis. Children born between 2018 and 2022 who have cystic fibrosis are expected to live an average of 56 years. On average, half of babies born in 2021 with cystic fibrosis are expected to reach the age of 65 or older.

what is cystic fibrosis fact sheet
Fact sheet
Cystic fibrosis affects all racial/ethnic groups.

Many people believe that only people who are white get cystic fibrosis. But the disease can occur in anyone and sometimes gets missed in people who are Black or Hispanic or have Asian ancestry, including from China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

Some people who have cystic fibrosis have few or no symptoms, while others experience severe symptoms or life-threatening complications. The most serious and common complications of cystic fibrosis are problems with the lungs, including frequent pulmonary or respiratory exacerbations , typically caused by serious lung infections.

Your healthcare provider will recommend treatments to improve lung function and prevent or manage complications. Treatment can improve your quality of life and help you live longer.

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