Summary: Previously, we reported catch-up weight gain, growth, and improved lung function in a group of malnourished cystic fibrosis (CF) children receiving aggressive nutritional supplementation for 1 year compared with a forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)-, height-, and sex-matched comparison group receiving standard therapy. To evaluate long-term effects, the clinical progress of both groups has been studied over a 5 year period. The supplemented group (n = 10) received supplements for a median of 1.35 years to achieve nutritional rehabilitation. Compared with the nonsupplemented group (n = 14), the previously supplemented group had lower mortality (2 vs. 4, N.S.) and significantly greater weight and height z scores at 4 and 5 years. The progression of pulmonary function abnormalities as measured by FEV1 and forced vital capacity (FVC) slopes was greater at 3 years in the nonsupplemented group (FEV1, p < 0.05) but no significant differences in rates of deterioration of pulmonary function were seen after 5 years in the two groups of survivors. We conclude that intensive nutritional support for 1 year has both short- and long-term effects on nutrition and growth, still evident some years after the cessation of this therapeutic modality. Supplementation for periods of longer than 1 year may produce greater gains and possibly prolong the improvement in pulmonary function observed in the earlier study.
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