Because newborns across the United States are now screened for cystic fibrosis soon after they’re born, the condition is being diagnosed and treated earlier. Partially as a result of improved screening and early detection, and also because there are new and more effective treatments, many children with cystic fibrosis are now living longer, healthier lives.
“We now identify children before they become symptomatic,” says Marie E. Egan, MD, director of Yale Medicine's Cystic Fibrosis Program and a pediatrician. “They do better in the long run if we can diagnose them before they get into trouble.”
This genetic disorder, which primarily affects the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems, can keep organs and systems from functioning properly and can lead to many complications. In the past, children may not have lived to their 20s, but now if the condition is managed well, they are living into their 50s.