Factors in childhood associated with lung function decline to adolescence in cystic fibrosis

J Cyst Fibros. 2022 Mar 24:S1569-1993(22)00085-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2022.03.008. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Despite improvements in general health and life expectancy in people with cystic fibrosis (CF), lung function decline continues unabated during adolescence and early adult life.

METHODS: We examined factors present at age 5-years that predicted lung function decline from childhood to adolescence in a longitudinal study of Australasian children with CF followed from 1999 to 2017.

RESULTS: Lung function trajectories were calculated for 119 children with CF from childhood (median 5.0 [25%-75%=5.0-5.1]) years) to early adolescence (median 12.5 [25%-75%=11.4-13.8] years). Lung function fell progressively, with mean (standard deviation) annual change -0.105 (0.049) for forced vital capacity (FVC) Z-score (p<0.001), -0.135 (0.048) for forced expiratory volume in 1-second (FEV1) Z-score (p<0.001), -1.277 (0.221) for FEV1/FVC% (p<0.001), and -0.136 (0.052) for forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of FVC Z-score (p<0.001). Factors present in childhood predicting lung function decline to adolescence, in multivariable analyses, were hospitalisation for respiratory exacerbations in the first 5-years of life (FEV1/FVC p = 0.001, FEF25-75p = 0.01) and bronchoalveolar lavage neutrophil elastase activity (FEV1/FVC% p = 0.001, FEV1p = 0.05, FEF25-75p = 0.02). No examined factor predicted a decline in the FVC Z-score.

CONCLUSIONS: Action in the first 5-years of life to prevent and/or treat respiratory exacerbations and counteract neutrophilic inflammation in the lower airways may reduce lung function decline in children with CF, and these should be targets of future research.

PMID:35341694 | DOI:10.1016/j.jcf.2022.03.008

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