Nutrient Status of Adults with Cystic Fibrosis

Catherine M. Gordon, Ellen J. Anderson, Karen Herlyn, Jane L. Hubbard, Angela Pizzo, Rondi Gelbard, Allen Lapey, Peter A. Merkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Nutrition is thought to influence disease status in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). This cross-sectional study sought to evaluate nutrient intake and anthropometric data from 64 adult outpatients with cystic fibrosis. Nutrient intake from food and supplements was compared with the Dietary Reference Intakes for 16 nutrients and outcomes influenced by nutritional status. Attention was given to vitamin D and calcium given potential skeletal implications due to cystic fibrosis. Measurements included weight, height, body composition, pulmonary function, and serum metabolic parameters. Participants were interviewed about dietary intake, supplement use, pulmonary function, sunlight exposure, and pain. The participants' mean body mass index (±standard deviation) was 21.8±4.9 and pulmonary function tests were normal. Seventy-eight percent used pancreatic enzyme replacement for malabsorption. Vitamin D deficiency [25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD)<37.5 nmol/L] was common: 25 (39%) were deficient despite adequate vitamin D intake. Lipid profiles were normal in the majority, even though total and saturated fat consumption represented 33.0% and 16.8% of energy intake, respectively. Reported protein intake represented 16.9% of total energy intake (range 10%-25%). For several nutrients, including vitamin D and calcium, intake from food and supplements in many participants exceeded recommended Tolerable Upper Intake Levels. Among adults with cystic fibrosis, vitamin D deficiency was common despite reported adequate intake, and lipid profiles were normal despite a relatively high fat intake. Mean protein consumption was adequate, but the range of intake was concerning, as both inadequate or excessive intake may have deleterious skeletal effects. These findings call into question the applicability of established nutrient thresholds for patients with cystic fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2114-2119
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


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