Cystic Fibrosis:

Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that is inherited that forms thick mucus in your secondary glands. To have the disease, the patient has to have two copies of the CF gene; one gene from the mother and one from the father. If the patient has one CF gene, then the patient is only a carrier of the disease but does not suffer from it themself. These glands include the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestines. This mucus blocks airways in the lungs, and tubes in the pancreas that lead to the intestines. This causes difficult breathing and indigestion.

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Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
  • People with CF tend to have very salty sweat. They lose large amounts salt this way, causing an imbalance in the body leading to health issues.
  • They tend to cough very frequently and have shortness of breathe. The build up of mucus in their body makes bacteria reproduce, making it easier to have lung infections.
  • Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bone tissue to thin out. People with CF have a higher chance of developing this disease.
  • Another disease that people with CF have a higher chance of developing is diabetes.
  • Indigestion is another common symptom. The enzymes in the pancreas that help break down food are stopped.

Benefits and Limitations
  • Those who have only one copy of the CF gene have protection from the bacteria that causes typhoid, which is Salmonella typhi. This bacteria is caught by cosuming contaminated food or water. This bacteria is brought into the gut then it travels into to the intestines and from there into the bloodstream.
  • Help and support is offered by the CF Trust Benefits Helpline for people with CF.
  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) gives disbility benefits for those who have CF because of their weak lungs. To be eligible for these benfits however, one of these three condistions have to be met:
- They have to have pulmonary exacerbations, which is either pneumonia, bronchitis, respiratory failure, or cases where blood is coughed up. This has to happen six times per year.
- When a spirometry test is taken, their score must be between 1.45 and 2.05 FEV1 (FEV1 is how much air can be inhaled in one second)
- At least once every six months, the patient has to be treated by antibiotics for serious lung infections.
  • Even if the patient does not meet any of the requirements above, they can still recieve the benfits by having their doctor restrict certain things such as; Restrciting the amount of weight they can lift, telling them to take frequent periods of rest, not to inhale air in very high temperatures and also not to inhale fumes or dust, Because of these limitations, the amount of jobs that these people can perform is reduced. From there, the Social Security Administration (SSA) places the patients restrictions in a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment, and searches for work available for the patient, even with their restrictions. Is there aren't any jobs that the patient can preform, then they are given disability benefits.
  • There are also limitations for what can be accomplished for treating this disease. Gene therapy is used to treat CF by injecting genes into the patients tissue, Sometimes this treatment works, sometimes it doesn't. However, when it is successful, the results do not last long. Gene therapy is only a brief result to this issue. Indubitably, it is not a permenant solution for all health issues that require gene therapy.
Social Issues

The birth rate of patients with CF varies with race. In the United States, there are one in every 2,500 to 3,500 births among the non-Hispanic white population. One in every 4,000-10,000 births among the Hispanic population. One in every 15,000 to 20,000 births among the non-Hispanic black popluation. In the year 2000, non-Hispanic whites estimated for about 56% of the CF births in the U.S., and they make up for over 90% of the patients who had cystic fibrosis in the U.S.

Economic Issues

Cystic Fibrosis also contributes econmically due to the money spent on hospitalization, clinic visits, antibiotics, and DNase (Pulmozyme). In the year 1996 the total cost was approximately $13,300 for CF patients overall. The average cost for patients with CF being mild was about $6,200, while those who had a stronger case of CF averaged around $43,300. Overall, in the United States alone, the estimated total cost of medical attention for the whole population was around $314 million per year (9). This amount of money per year greatly contributes to the economy.


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2. Board, A.D.A.M. Editorial. "Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors." Osteoporosis. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Nov. 0000. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.
3. "The Cost of Medical Care for Patients With Cystic Fibrosis in a Health Maintenance Organization." Pediatrics. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.
Cromie, William J. "Cystic Fibrosis Gene Found to Protect Against Typhoid." The Harvard University Gazette. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.
4. "Cystic Fibrosis." American Lung Association. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <>.
5. "Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy." Alternative Medicine and Natural Health News. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.
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7. "" MedicineNet. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.
8. "Social Security Disability & Cystic Fibrosis: Benefits & Filing." Social Security Disability. Secrets & Advice To Win Benefits. Apply & Appeal SSDI & SSI. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. < 38.html>.
9. "What Is Cystic Fibrosis?" - NHLBI, NIH. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.