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Dutch CF Registry 2017 - Symptoms and consequences

Height and weight


Because food is absorbed less efficiently by patients with CF (due to the disturbed water-salt balance), children with CF are often smaller and lighter than other children. It is therefore important to eat well and enough, and height and weight are constantly monitored. This remains important throughout their lives.
On average, the BMI of children with CF is slightly below the average of healthy peers. In adults, half have a BMI higher than 22. A healthy BMI for adults is between 18.5 and 25. 

The figure below shows the BMI of children with CF compared to that of children without CF in recent years (Figure 1). A BMI Z-score of 0 means that the BMI is average compared to healthy children. Below 0 is lower than average. The BMI was good for a number of years: half of the children had a Z-score of around 0 or higher. But in the last two years, the value has dropped down again to 0. The reasons for this decrease are being investigated.


For adults with CF, the BMI has remained fairly stable over the past few years. Figure 2 below shows that as the age goes up, the BMI also increases.