What is Cystic Fibrosis?

cfbubblesCystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide).

A defective gene and its protein cause the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that: clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections;  obstructs the pancreas; and stops  enzymes from helping the body break down food.In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.
More than 70% of patients are diagnosed by age two.
More than 45% of the CF patient population is age 18 or older.
The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the late 30s.

Since 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been the driving force behind the pursuit of a cure. Thanks to the dedication and financial backing of our supporters — patients, families and friends, clinicians, researchers, volunteers, individual donors, corporations and staff, we are making a difference.

To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis or to read about current research and drug developments, please visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website.