Growth Deficiency in Cystic Fibrosis Is Observable at Birth and Predictive of Early Pulmonary Function

Biol Res Nurs. 2016 Oct;18(5):498-504. doi: 10.1177/1099800416643585. Epub 2016 Apr 13.


Introduction: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a complex disease that includes both pulmonary and gastrointestinal challenges, resulting in decreased weight. Pulmonary symptoms of CF are extremely variable. Greater body mass at an early age is associated with improved pulmonary function, but it is unknown at what age weight becomes predictive of pulmonary disease severity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between birth weight and pulmonary function in CF.

Methods: Birth weight and pulmonary data were obtained. Linear regressions were used to examine the relationship between these two variables. A one-tailed t-test was used to compare birth weights between CF patients and the national average.

Results: Birth weight was significantly lower in babies with CF and correlated with pulmonary disease at ages 6 and 10 years but not with age at which Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization was observed.

Discussion: These data suggest that CF growth deficiency has prenatal origins. Early nutritional intervention for babies with CF and a low birth weight is warranted to maximize pulmonary potential.

Keywords: birth weight; cystic fibrosis; genetics; pediatrics; respiratory.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Birth Weight*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Early Diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Growth and Development*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index