Number of people living with cystic fibrosis hits 10,500

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The number of people living with cystic fibrosis (CF) in the UK has risen to 10,500 for the first time, according to new data from the UK CF Registry announced by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust today.

The increase reflects the impact of ground-breaking scientific research, a better understanding of CF and the risks of cross-infection, and new-born screening (introduced UK-wide in 2007), and this growth could accelerate further with access to life-saving drugs - this is why we need a deal. While the growing population is a sign of great progress, it brings with it an added demand on the 60-plus CF centres providing care in the UK, supporting an aging existing CF population and an extra 215 adults with CF a year.

The Registry data shows the range and depth of care that this growing population needs, such as antibiotics, supplemental feeding and other treatments to keep them well. As they grow older, people with CF are also experiencing complications such as liver and bone disease and CF-related diabetes (CFRD).

Dr Janet Allen, Director of Strategic Innovation at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “The rise in the number of people surviving is great news and is a result of decades of research. With hundreds of extra children surviving into adulthood each year, the NHS may struggle to cope with these extra numbers, which is almost the equivalent of building a new cystic fibrosis unit every year.”

As demonstrated throughout CF Week, the Trust is determined to continue the fight against cystic fibrosis and to help meet the challenges ahead; continuing to fund research, support improvements to the quality of clinical care, provide vital information and support and shout loud on the issues that matter.

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