Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease of the secretory glands, which normally produce mucus and sweat. Inherited means that the disease is passed from parents to children through genes. CF mainly affects the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses, and sex organs.
CF is most common in white people of Northern European ancestry but can also occur in Hispanics, African-Americans and some Native Americans. It is rare in people of Asian and Middle Eastern origin.
Symptoms of CF can vary from serious to mild lung and digestive problems starting in infancy and progressing throughout childhood and into the adult years. Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death in people who have CF. Treatment for CF continues to improve, and the use of nutritional and respiratory therapies, medicines, exercise, and even lung transplantation has made it possible for people living with CF to live into their forties, fifties, and longer. Screening of newborns for cystic fibrosis is now performed in all 50 states.