New Research Indicates 75% of Cystic Fibrosis Patients Exercise

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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exercise and CF

exercise and CFA new study entitled “Self-reported exercise and longitudinal outcomes in cystic fibrosis: a retrospective cohort study” published in October issue of BMC Pulmonary Medicine suggests that self-reported exercise improves nutritional and pulmonary outcomes in adults with cystic fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening disease, characterized by a progressive lung function decline, and is caused by mutations in the Cftr gene (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene). However, genetic defects and environmental factors contribute equally to differences in pulmonary function in CF patients. Among these, factors such as secondhand smoke exposure, health insurance, household income, adherence, air pollution, and ambient temperature were shown to have an impact on disease severity, the role of exercise in CF outcomes is still under debate.

In this study, the authors performed a retrospective analysis and measured in CF patients the role of self-reported exercise (by asking patients directly if they participated in exercise regularly) with longitudinal lung function and body mass index (BMI). All the subjects analyzed (1,038) were part of the CF Twin-Sibling Study and were recruited from worldwide centers, including United States, Israel, Australia and United Kingdom between the years 2000 and 2013.

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The team of researchers found 75% of CF individuals exercised regularly. Exercise was associated with increased lung function and preserved BMI in CF adults; however, no BMI decline was observed. The authors thus suggest promoting exercise can benefit CF individuals in the long run. Further studies are needed to confirm these results.

This research joins a steady flow of compelling anecdotal stories from the CF patient community, chronicling the health benefits of leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Recently, Cystic Fibrosis News Today reported on how surfing in particular has been identified as a therapeutic activity for CF patients, since it exposes them to an all-natural saline therapy that facilitates the loosening of mucous in the lungs.