Improved pulmonary and growth outcomes in cystic fibrosis by newborn screening

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


BACKGROUND: Newborn screening for cystic fibrosis (CF) is effective in improving long-term growth outcomes. However, there is conflicting evidence that early diagnosis maintains normal pulmonary function. Our goal was to determine if newborn screening results in improved longitudinal growth and maintenance of normal pulmonary function.

METHODS: A retrospective study of individuals with CF born in Connecticut between 1983 and 1997 was conducted by medical record and CF Foundation Registry review. Growth, pulmonary function and bacterial acquisition/colonization data, from diagnosis through July 1, 2005, were compared in those diagnosed by newborn screen (n = 34) to those diagnosed by sweat test after symptom appearance (n = 21).

RESULTS: Screened individuals demonstrated greater weight and height for age at diagnosis (P = 0.01 and 0.01) and through 15 years of age (P = 0.0002 and 0.01). Body mass index was higher in screened individuals (21 vs. 18 kg/m(2)) at 15 years of age (P = 0.01). At 15 years of age, screened individuals had a clinically higher forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) and forced vital capacity (FVC; 90% and 104% predicted) than non-screened individuals (74% and 91% predicted; P = 0.08 and 0.10). Over a 9-year period, from ages 6 to 15, percent predicted FEV(1) and FVC increased by 4% and 13% in screened individuals; and declined by 14% and 5% respectively in non-screened individuals (P = 0.01 and 0.02). Acquisition/colonization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was similar between groups (P = 0.23).

CONCLUSIONS: In this CF cohort, individuals diagnosed by newborn screening have improved growth and preservation of normal pulmonary function without increased risk of Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization.

DOI of Published Version



Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008 Jul;43(7):648-55. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Pediatric pulmonology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID