Discrepancies between males and females with cystic fibrosis in dietary intake and pancreatic enzyme use

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1998 Mar;26(3):258-62. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199803000-00004.


Background: Length of survival of females with cystic fibrosis is worse than it is in males. Results of current research have shown an important correlation among dietary intake, nutritional status, lung function, and survival. The purpose of this study was to explore gender differences in dietary intake and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy in males and females with cystic fibrosis.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional measurement of clinical characteristics, energy, and fat intakes in males and females attending the cystic fibrosis outpatients clinics of the John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, Australia. Twenty-nine subjects, (17 females and 12 males), completed 4-day weighed food records to measure total energy intake and the contribution of macronutrients and to document use of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. Energy intake was assessed as the percentage of the recommended energy intake for age and sex.

Results: Females with cystic fibrosis had significantly lower energy and fat intakes than males, whereas the females used significantly more pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. There were no significant differences in clinical characteristics between groups.

Conclusion: The results support the possibility that gender differences in the energy and fat intakes of older patients may contribute to differential median survival time of males and females with cystic fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / mortality
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipase / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Survival Rate


  • Dietary Fats
  • Lipase