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Cystic Fibrosis

Life Expectancy of Adults with CF

04/17/2008

Question:

If a person over the age of 60 has been diagnosed with CF and the pancreas has been affected, what is the progression and life expectancy for that person?

Answer:

This question is really not possible to answer - pancreatic insufficiency can be a marker for more serious disease, but isn't likely to directly contribute to a shortened lifespan.

By being diagnosed at age 60, rather than in childhood, it is likely that an individual has milder disease, but the real predictor of lifespan relates to current lung function; the healthier the person's lungs, the more likely one is to have a longer lifespan.

The best way to maximize one's life is to not engage in risky behaviors, such as smoking, and to see a physician at the closest adult cystic fibrosis center, which can be found on the CFF.org website. The individual should locate a center, schedule an appointment, and follow the recommendations of those experts.

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Response by:

John S Heintz, MD John S Heintz, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University