Today about half of all cystic fibrosis patients in the United States are adults, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Patient Registry. This remarkable statistic represents significant progress in the care of patients with the autosomal recessive disorder. More effective therapies in childhood and the emergence of detailed treatment guidelines have extended the median predicted survival age to 40.
The growing number of adults with cystic fibrosis has created a need for specialized services unique to this population. UCLA has opened a Cystic Fibrosis clinic focused on patients ages 18 and older. The clinic is part of UCLA’s Cystic Fibrosis Program, which was recently accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The adult cystic fibrosis program at UCLA offers convenient and coordinated care to better serve patients on the Westside of Los Angeles. Because there are so many guidelines in how you manage cystic fibrosis, it's important that patients receive care at a specialized center. We have access to all the specialists a patient might need and careful attention is devoted to the seamless transition of pediatric cystic fibrosis patients to adult care.
What used to be a pediatric disease has become a disease of adulthood. As these patients enter adulthood, they have to take more responsibility in caring for themselves. Education about the disease becomes very important. It can be hard to adhere to treatments. Patients need a medical team that understands and helps them with compliance.