IMR Press / FBL / Volume 27 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbl2706178
Open Access Original Research
COVID-19 Lockdown Impacts Among Patients with Cystic Fibrosis: An Italian Regional Reference Centre Experience
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1 Department of Maternal, Infantile and Urological Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, 155, 00161 Rome, Italy
2 Department of Emergency and General Pediatrics, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, 4, 00165 Rome, Italy
3 Lazio Reference Center for Cystic Fibrosis, Policlinico Umberto I University Hospital, Sapienza University, Viale del Policlinico, 155, 00161 Rome, Italy
*Correspondence: (Boni Alessandra)
These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editors: Massimo Conese and Lorenzo Guerra
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2022, 27(6), 178;
Submitted: 4 December 2021 | Revised: 26 February 2022 | Accepted: 4 March 2022 | Published: 2 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cystic fibrosis lung disease: from basic research to clinical issues)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: Coronavirus pandemic has influenced our society with social distancing and management of chronic disease such as cystic fibrosis (CF). During the Italian lockdown from March to May 2020, CF patients reduced the number of outpatient visits, limited social interactions and spent more time at home. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of the lockdown on body mass index (BMI) and lung function tests on CF patients. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed clinical data about 111 CF patients followed in our Regional Cystic Fibrosis Reference Centre (Policlinico Umberto I, Rome) according to two periods: pre-lockdown (from October 2019–March 2020) and post-lockdown (from May 2020–October 2020). We collected data on nutritional (BMI and body weight) and lung function status; we chose the best values of the ‘pre-lockdown’ and ‘post-lockdown’ period for each patient. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to FEV1 value (Forced Expiratory Volume in the 1st second): group 1 (FEV1 <40%), group 2 (FEV1 40–70%), group 3 (FEV1 >70%). All patients received a telephone interview asking for the number of hours per week devoted to physical activity, number of pulmonary acute exacerbations and subjective evaluation of adherence to medical therapy, respiratory physiotherapy and diet, during the two periods. Results: Comparing weight, BMI and respiratory function between pre and post lockdown periods, we noticed an increase in weight during among overall patients. Male patients improved weight, BMI, FEF 25–75% (Forced Expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of vital capacity) and Tiffenau index more than female patients. The most severely compromised patients (group 1), showed a significant loss of both weight and BMI. Instead, patients with moderate respiratory function (group 2) showed a significant increase of both weight and BMI and a slightly reduced CVF (Forced Vital capacity). We found no differences among patients with good respiratory function (group 3). Comparing each clinical sub-groups, we noticed a significative improvement of weight (p = 0.018) and BMI (p = 0.030) among patients with moderate respiratory function compared to patients with compromised respiratory function. During lockdown, patients reported less physical activity, no variation in food amount and composition, more adherence to therapy (43%) and more consistent daily respiratory physiotherapy (47.6%). Conclusions: Lockdown period had benefit among CF patients in terms of weight in particular in male patient. The greatest benefit on nutritional state was observed in patients with moderate reduction of respiratory function. In addition, we noted a stabilization and sometimes a slight improvement of lung function, instead of a continuous and steady decline that is normally observed in CF patients. These beneficial effects are slight but significative, bearing in mind the general worsening that CF patients experience annually.

cystic fibrosis
nutritional status
lung function tests
lung function status
Fig. 1.
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