Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
cystic fibrosis in older people?
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cystic fibrosis in older people?

My uncle who is 73 years old was diagnosed last week with cystic fibrosis but given very little information regarding the disease.  In the research that I have been trying to do, cystic fibrosis seems to be a pediatric disease caused by a gene.  He has not shown any symptoms of being ill until this last year when he has developed a cough that he has been unable to shake and when he went to the doctor they said the bottom of his lungs are deteriorating.  I am confused by the cystic fibrosis diagnosis because as I said he is 73 years old.  I am looking for information regarding cystic fibrosis in older people if available.
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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease of the exocrine glands affecting the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems.  Sweat electrolytes, like sodium and chloride, are high at birth.  Thick mucus can block the small airways.  The problem usually becomes evident and is diagnosed in infancy or childhood.  Occasionally it is diagnosed later, in the 3rd and 4th decades of life.  It occurs with a wide range of severity.  The minority of people with very mild forms of the disease may live into their 50's and 60's.  To live into their 70's is extraordinary but not impossible.  While it is possible that your uncle has CF, it is most unlikely that it wouldn
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I would be very suprised if your uncle actually had cystic fibrosis. CF in a 73 year old is all but unheard of. I have been in my profession for over 11 years, and I have rarely heard or seen cases of CF with patients over 35 years old. The median age of CF patients at time of death is reported at 30 years old. And that is improving with current research and medications that are available. Maybe it's another disease that your uncle has. But again, I highly doubt it's CF. I don't think you'll find much research about CF in older patients because patients don't usually live that long, as mentioned before. Take care and good luck...
                                     J.C.I RRT RCP
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