What is the average life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic, life-threatening, chronic disorder. Historically, people with cystic fibrosis did not live past childhood or adolescence, as treatment options were limited. In fact, as recently as the 1960s, most children with cystic fibrosis did not live past preschool age [source:

Cystic Fibrosis Canada]. Moreover, not so long ago in the 1980s, people with cystic fibrosis had an average life expectancy of 14 years.


The life expectancy of people with cystic fibrosis has drastically improved over the last three decades. Modern technology and intensive cystic fibrosis research has resulted in innovative and effective cystic fibrosis treatment plans. As a result, people with cystic fibrosis can live well into adulthood if they are otherwise in good health [source: Mayo Clinic]. Some statistics, however, report a much more conservative life expectancy estimate of 35 years [source: Disabled World].

The future seems even brighter for cystic fibrosis patients. The forecasted life expectancy of babies born today is 40 years old [source: Disabled World]. Infants who have normal pancreas function, however, are expected to live past 50 years old.