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Impaired blood vessel function found in cystic fibrosis patients
Date:11/26/2012

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Future studies are needed to determine exactly why cystic fibrosis patients appear to have less nitric oxide available and whether improving lung function and exercise capacity can improve the vascular health of patients of all ages.

MCG researchers already are doing a small pilot study giving over-the-counter antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, enhance nitric oxide availability and improve blood-vessel dilation. "If we can help improve vascular function, we can hopefully improve their ability to deliver oxygen and increase their exercise capacity," Harris said.

Maintaining good lung function typically requires multiple medications and several hours of daily therapy to break up the mucus, said McKie, a study co-author. She also encourages patients to live full, active lives. "We tell them they are going to live a full life, get married, be president, play baseball, whatever they want to do, it just takes a little extra work." Patient study participants included a swimmer, basketball, baseball and softball players. Guidelines for routine exercise testing of cystic fibrosis should be published early next year.

About 30,000 Americans have cystic fibrosis and 10 million more are carriers of the defective gene, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Endothelial dysfunction has been found in older individuals with chronic medical problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and obesity.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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