Study finds that people with cystic fibrosis who live in deprived areas have worse health

January 29, 2013

A study by the University of Liverpool has found that people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) who live in deprived areas have worse growth and lung function than people living in more advantaged areas.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool examined the medical records of more than 9,000 cystic fibrosis patients under 40 years old, from 1996 to 2009. They found that children and adults with CF who lived in the most disadvantaged areas in the UK had lower weight, height and (BMI) than those from more affluent areas.

They were also more likely to have worse lung function, and to pick up severe . These differences appeared early on in childhood and continued through to adulthood, but did not get any wider over time.

The study, which was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and used data provided by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, also looked at the treatments received by people with CF in the NHS. It found that the NHS takes this disadvantage into account and treats people from deprived areas more intensively. They were about twice as likely to be treated with and nutritional therapies, even after taking into account their worse health. However, they were less likely to be treated with inhaled treatments, such as DNase, and inhaled antibiotics.

Dr David Taylor-Robinson, from the Department of Public Health and Policy, said: "This is the first study to examine the relationship between deprivation and longitudinal outcomes in in the UK, which is of particular interest in the study of because it is a genetic disease and affects all equally.

"It is important that children with CF are not exposed to second-hand smoke, which is more common in deprived areas, and may explain some of the difference in early lung function. This study also shows that the health effects of deprivation appear very early in childhood, even for such as CF.

"We need to make sure that all children get the best possible start in life in order to reduce health inequalities."

The research is published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Explore further: Early cystic fibrosis lung disease detected by bronchoalveolar lavage and lung clearance index

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.