Global Impact of COVID‑19 in Cystic Fibrosis: An International Collaboration

Stephenson, Anne | $365,000

Ontario St. Michael's Hospital 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a multi-system genetic condition that affects nearly 90,000 people globally, for which there is no cure. In addition to managing other complications including CF-related diabetes, malnutrition, and progressive lung damage, those with CF are susceptible to frequent lung infections. To date, the impact of the devastating COVID‑19 pandemic on the CF population is not well-understood, and very little is known about the disease course and long-term effects of COVID‑19 on this medically vulnerable population. Fortunately, CF is one of the few rare diseases with well-established, national patient databases. These databases contain a wealth of health information, spanning the lifetime of someone living with CF, and using this information, the CF community is well-positioned to answer important questions about COVID‑19 quickly and efficiently. This project will aim to answer 3 questions in the CF population: 1) What are the risk factors including sex and other factors that predict poor outcomes following infection? 2) What is the medium- and long-term impact of infection? 3) What are the factors that influence CF health outcomes after COVID‑19 in those who have received a transplant? Using national CF databases, we will capture everyone with CF with a confirmed COVID‑19 infection between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022, and follow these individuals until June 30, 2022, to ensure at least 3 months of follow-up information to assess post-COVID-19 health. Given what is known about the general population, for our CF population, we will consider risk factors such as: age, sex, race/ethnicity, complications, baseline lung health, nutrition, geography (country) and socioeconomic status. Our work will provide vital knowledge about who is at the highest risk for poor health outcome or disease course following COVID‑19 infection, so that people with CF and their care teams can make informed choices about exposure risk

With funding from the Government of Canada

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