Risk of asthma in heterozygous carriers for cystic fibrosis: A meta-analysis

J Cyst Fibros. 2016 Sep;15(5):563-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2016.06.001. Epub 2016 Jun 17.


Background: Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have a higher prevalence of asthma than the background population, however, it is unclear whether heterozygous CF carriers are susceptible to asthma. Given this, a meta-analysis is necessary to determine the veracity of the association of CF heterozygosity with asthma.

Methods: We screened the medical literature from 1966 to 2015 and performed a meta-analysis to determine the risk of asthma in CF heterozygotes vs. non-carriers.

Results: Aggregating data from 15 studies, the odds ratio for asthma in CF heterozygotes compared with non-carriers was significantly elevated at 1.61 (95% CI: 1.18-2.21). When analyzing the studies considered of high quality in which asthma was diagnosed by a physician, the patients were >18years, or study size was ≥500, the trend remained the same, that heterozygous carriers of CF had elevated risk for asthma.

Conclusions: The results show that heterozygous carriers for CF have a higher risk of asthma than non-carriers.

Keywords: Airway obstruction; Asthma; Cystic fibrosis; Epidemiology; Review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / epidemiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / genetics
  • Genetic Carrier Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator