Objective: To assess the impact of lifetime continuous care within the John Hunter Hospital cystic fibrosis (CF) clinics on growth and lung function. Design: A cross sectional survey of variables affecting nutritional status in CF was undertaken for 1993 and 1997. Data were retrieved from medical records and grouped into 5 year age bands. Main outcome measures: Change in height z-score, weight centile, and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) between patient cohorts receiving specialised care for different lengths of time. Results: Improved mean height z-score (−0.880 v −0.047) and weight centile (28.3% v 48.1%) for the 10–15 year age group in 1997, who had received continuous lifetime care within the clinic, compared with the same age group in 1993, for whom continuous medical care started at an older age. There was no corresponding improvement in FEV1, as an indicator of lung function, in this group (81.6% predicted v 89.5% predicted). Conclusions: This study suggests that lifetime continuous care within a specialised CF centre is associated with improved growth but not improved lung function.
Archives of Disease in Childhood Vol. 81, Issue 3, p. 241-246