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Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis

08/27/2009

Question:

I am 61 years old. My doctor says I have some signs of cystic fibrosis. Can this happen to an adult at this age?

Answer:

Absolutely. Although most patients with "classic" cystic fibrosis are diagnosed very early in life, this is not always the case. There are variable degrees of disease severity and approximately 8% of patients with CF are diagnosed over the age of 15.

Although uncommon, diagnoses much later in life are not unheard of. Usually these patients with late diagnoses have good nutrition, milder disease and are sometimes referred to as "non-classic" or "atypical" CF. Nonetheless, these late diagnoses and atypical manifestations are still a form of CF.

The recommendation is that patients at any age with CF be seen and evaluated at a CF Foundation accredited CF Care Center. If nothing else, in a CF Center you are likely to encounter adult CF physicians with the expertise to confirm the disease and, if the diagnosis is confirmed, recommend appropriate management.

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Response by:

Patricia   Joseph, MS, MD Patricia Joseph, MS, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati