Managing diabetes in cystic fibrosis

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2010 Oct;12(10):858-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2010.01250.x.


Cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD) is the most common co-morbidity in persons with cystic fibrosis (CF). As the life expectancy of persons with CF continues to increase, the need to proactively diagnose and aggressively treat CFRD and its potential complications has become more apparent. CFRD negatively impacts lung function, growth and mortality, making its diagnosis and management crucial in a population already at high risk for early mortality. Compared to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, CFRD is a unique entity, requiring a thorough understanding of its unique pathophysiology to facilitate the creation and utilization of an effective medical treatment plan. The physiology of CFRD is complex, likely consisting of a combination of insulin deficiency, insulin resistance and a genetic predisposition towards the development of diabetes. However, the hallmark of CFRD is insulin deficiency, necessitating the use of exogenous insulin as the mainstay of therapy. Insulin administration, in combination with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals with expertise in the care of patients with CF and CFRD, is the cornerstone of the care for these patients. The goals of treatment of the CFRD population are to reverse protein catabolism, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce acute and chronic diabetes complications. Creating a partnership between the treatment team and the patient is the ideal way to accomplish these goals and is essential for successful diabetes care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Vascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Vascular Diseases / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • Hypoglycemic Agents