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Who Discovered Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (sometimes called CF or mucoviscidosis) is a disease which causes progressive disability. It is often the cause of early death. This post will tell you who discovered cystic fibrosis and look at a few facts about the disease.

Who Discovered Cystic Fibrosis

While cystic fibrosis was not fully understood until the 1930′s, aspects of the disease were known in the 1700′s. Literature from Germany and Switzerland shows that they recognized the association between salt loss (a symptom of CF) and illness. In 1838, Carl von Rokitahsky documented a death from meconium peritonitis, a complication associated with cystic fibrosis. Dorothy Hansine Andersen is considered the ‘discoverer’ of cystic fibrosis as she first identified and described the disease in 1938. She also developed a test to diagnose cystic fibrosis in the 1940′s.

Facts About Cystic Fibrosis

  • Over 1,000 different DNA mutations cause cystic fibrosis.
  • In the United States, 1 in 4,000 children are born with cystic fibrosis.
  • Life expectancy for infants diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in the United States is 36.8 years.
  • Many people suffering from cystic fibrosis are constantly on antibiotics to prevent infections.
  • In the United States, 10% of cases are diagnosed as part of newborn screening programs.
  • Males with cystic fibrosis may become infertile.

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