Cystic fibrosis in India

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2007 Dec;42(12):1087-94. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20677.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) was considered to be non-existent in Indian subcontinent. Reports in last one decade have suggested that cystic fibrosis occurs in India but its precise magnitude is not known. Studies on migrant Indian population in United States and United Kingdom estimate frequency of CF as 1:10,000 to 1:40,000. The clinical features are similar to that reported in Caucasian population. CF in Indian children is usually diagnosed late and in advanced stage. Children are more malnourished and may have clinically evident deficiency of fat soluble vitamins. The frequency of clubbing, colonization with Pseudomonas, and laboratory evidence of pseudo-Bartter syndrome is relatively more at the time of diagnosis. Diagnostic facilities in form of sweat chloride estimation and genetic studies are not available readily. Mutation profile is different. The frequency of common mutation F508del in Indian children is between 19% and 34%. Other mutations are heterogeneous. Management of CF in India is difficult due to less number of trained manpower, limited availability, and high cost of pharmacologic agents. The determinants of early death include: severe malnutrition and colonization with Pseudomonas at the time of diagnosis, more than four episodes of lower respiratory infection per year and age of onset of symptoms before 2 months of age. To conclude, CF does occur in India; however, precise magnitude of problem is not known. There is need to create awareness amongst pediatricians, developing diagnostic facilities, and management protocols based on locally available resources.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / epidemiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods
  • Prognosis