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November 5, 1982

Early Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis

Author Affiliations

Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center Memphis

JAMA. 1982;248(17):2113. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330170021012

To the Editor.—  In the letter by Rosenstein and Langbaum (1982; 247:3313) on diagnostic delay in Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD) and cystic fibrosis (CF), they stated "early intervention has not been associated with improved outcome...." While this may be the case for DMD, it is not so for CF. We studied 16 sibling pairs with CF during a seven-year period1 and found that the siblings whose conditions were diagnosed before 1 year of age and before the onset of serious pulmonary involvement had substantially better pulmonary function and required notably fewer hospital admissions than their siblings whose conditions were diagnosed after 1 year of age and after the onset of pulmonary compromise. The implication is clear, namely, early intervention is associated with improved outcome (at least during a seven-year follow-up period), and I hope physicians will not delay in the institution of such treatment because of Rosenstein and Langbaum's