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Cystic Fibrosis

CF age

09/03/2008

Question:

Can you be diagnosed with CF at the age of 28? No symptoms until last 6 months with thick choking mucus, taken antibiotics for sinus infections, no help, doctor hasn`t tested for CF, wondering if I should suggest being tested. No family members known to have had it. Being refered to Ear, Nose & Throat specialists.Thank you

Answer:

Yes, patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) can be diagnosed in adulthood. First, the majority of patients with CF (based on the CF registry data) have no known family members with the disease. Depending on the data, 6% to 8% of patients with CF are diagnosed as adults. Frequently these patients have milder symptoms, sometimes referred to as “non-classic” CF, and tend to be better nourished with better-than-average pulmonary function and an overall more subtle clinical presentation. It is not uncommon for these patients to be referred for testing by Gastroenterology, Allergy and Otolaryngology specialists who see the recurrent symptoms.

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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