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J Cyst Fibros. 2008 Nov;7(6):537-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2008.06.003. Epub 2008 Aug 19.

An international/multicentre report on patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) over the age of 40 years.

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Department of Cystic Fibrosis, Royal Brompton Hospital/Imperial College, London SW3 6NP, UK.



The lifespan of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is increasing significantly. The objective of this international pilot study was to study the characteristics of these long-term survivors.


Four centres with large CF clinics from London (UK), Minneapolis (USA), Toronto (Canada) and Verona (Italy) identified 366 patients who had survived 40 years and longer.


At all centres males survived longer than females. There were more pancreatic sufficient patients in Verona (60%) and Toronto (40%) than in London (16%) and Minneapolis (21%). The percentage of DeltaF508 homozygous patients varied between 47% in London and 45% in Minneapolis to only 26% in Toronto and 9% in Verona. Average FEV(1) and BMI values of the surviving population appeared to stabilise after 40 years of age. FEV(1) was on average 12% higher in patients who were pancreatic sufficient (p > 0.0001). There was no difference in survival between the centres. The overall median survival after the age of 40 was 13 years. The estimated annual death rate was approximately 3.4% from the age of 40-60 years.


Significant numbers of patients are now surviving to 40 years or more, and it is hoped that an in-depth study of these patients may identify the factors contributing to longer survival.

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