Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.


What are the symptoms? 

People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including very salty-tasting skin, persistent coughing, at times with phlegm, frequent lung infections including pneumonia or bronchitis, wheezing or shortness of breath, poor growth or weight gain in spite of a good appetite, frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty with bowel movements, and male infertility. 

What causes it? 

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. People with CF have inherited two copies of the defective CF gene -- one copy from each parent. Both parents must have at least one copy of the defective gene.

How is it diagnosed and prevalence? 

Diagnosing cystic fibrosis is a multistep process, and should include a newborn screening, a sweat test, a genetic or carrier test, and a clinical evaluation at a CF Foundation-accredited care center. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis (more than 70,000 worldwide). Approximately 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year.

What is the individual impact?

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) affects a person's life in many ways and at times considerably challenges his or her health and lifestyle. People with CF may find it difficult to study or work full-time while coping with hospitalizations, fatigue, and a demanding treatment regimen.