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The Facts About Cystic Fibrosis

June 15, 1998

* 30,000 people in the United States have cystic fibrosis.

* It is the most common fatal inherited disease among whites in the U.S.

* There is no cure.

* It usually manifests itself within three years of birth.

* The median age for survival is 31.

* Symptoms include very salty-tasting skin; persistent coughing, wheezing or pneumonia; excessive appetite but poor weight gain.

* Defective cells in the lining of such critical organs as the lungs are unable to carry out the normal transport of chloride and sodium. Eventually the imbalance leads to a viscous, sticky mucus that coats the lungs. Wheezing, coughing and pneumonia result, along with inflammation and infection.

* Traditional therapies have included vigorous percussion of the back and chest to dislodge the mucus; antibiotics are used to treat infection; bronchodilators are used to open up clogged airways. Three drugs are in the first phase of testing.

Source: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

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For more information:

* Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

6931 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814

Telephone: (800) FIGHT-CF

Internet: http://www.cff.org

* Boomer Esiason Foundation

Internet: http://www.esiason.org

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