The aim of our study was to discover the health status and healthcare utilisation associated with pulmonary exacerbations in cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Patients with CF from five UK CF centres attended two visits, 8-12 weeks apart. They were classified at visit 1 as being in one of the three health states: no current pulmonary exacerbation; "mild" (no hospitalisation) pulmonary exacerbation; and "severe" (hospitalisation) pulmonary exacerbation. All patients completed the Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised (CFQ-R) and EuroQol (EQ-5D) and a clinical form, and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) was measured at visits 1 and 2. Annual healthcare utilisation data were collected. 94 patients of mean±sd age 28.5±8.2 yrs and FEV1 58.7±26.8% were recruited. 60 patients had no pulmonary exacerbation, 15 had a mild and 19 had a severe pulmonary exacerbation at visit 1. EQ-5D and CFQ-R data showed that the worse the exacerbation, the poorer the health-related quality of life (HRQoL). There were strong relationships between the CFQ-R and EQ-5D domain scores. The mean rate of pulmonary exacerbations per patient per year was 3.6 (1.5 in hospital and 2.2 at home). The mean length of stay per hospital pulmonary exacerbation was 9 days. As exacerbation status worsens, patients experience worse HRQoL. There is a significant healthcare burden associated with treatment of pulmonary exacerbation and long-term prophylaxis.