What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Jan 20, 2013 | Diagnosis Information

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems. Approximately 1 in every 2000-3000 babies is born with Cystic Fibrosis each year. A defective gene found on the 7th chromosome changes a protein that regulates the movement of salt in and out of cells, causing the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and lead to life threatening lung infections, obstruct the pancreas, and stop the natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. Cystic Fibrosis does not affect mental faculty.

This autosomal recessive genetic disorder requires that both parents  possess a mutative recessive gene in order to pass the disease to their child. Each child of a pair of parents both possessing the recessive gene for Cystic Fibrosis has a 25% chance of being born with no copy of a recessive gene, a 50% chance of being born with only one copy of the recessive gene, and a 25% chance of being born affected with Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis is fatal. Life expectancy depends upon several factors, including which genetic mutation is present and how the patient responds to treatment, antibiotics, and respiratory therapy. Though there is no guarantee of living to any age with the disease, recent improvements of screening and treatments has increased the average life expectancy of a patient with Cystic Fibrosis, and the now may reach their 20s or 30s.

For more information on Cystic Fibrosis, visit:

Ending a Wanted Pregnancy stories involving Cystic Fibrosis


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