As the longevity of all patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) continues to increase (median 2005 survival = 36.8 years), more adult patients will be receiving their medical care from nonpediatric adult-care providers. Cystic fibrosis remains a fatal disease, with more than 80% of patients dying after the age of 18 years, and most deaths resulting from pulmonary disease. The changing epidemiology requires adult-care providers to become knowledgeable and competent in the clinical management of adults with CF. Physicians must understand the influence of specific genotype on phenotypic disease presentation and severity, the pathogenic factors determining lung disease onset and progression, the impact of comorbid disease factors such as CF-related diabetes and malnutrition upon lung disease severity, and the currently approved or standard accepted therapies used for chronic management of CF lung disease. This knowledge is critical to help alleviate morbidity and improve mortality for the rapidly expanding population of adults with CF.
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