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South African Journal of Child Health

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The epidemiology of cystic fibrosis in the Western Cape province

Tony Westwood

Abstract


Objectives. To determine the incidence and prevalence of cystic fibrosis (CF) among populations of the Western Cape province of South Africa.
Design and subjects. Descriptive study using data from a database of CF cases and the 1996 Census.
Measures. CF births from 1987 to 1996 and known CF patients in 1996 were compared with Census birth data and population data, respectively.
Results. The very small numbers of black African CF patients precluded estimating the epidemiology in this group. The incidences of CF for coloured and white patients were 1 in 9 845 and 1 in 2 853 live births, respectively. There was underascertainment of cases in non-metropolitan areas. The prevalence of CF per 100 000 of the population was 2.6 and 11 for the coloured and white populations, respectively. The estimated number of persons with CF in these two groups in South Africa in 2001 was 571.
Conclusions. CF was more common in the coloured population and less common in the white population than previously estimated. Under-diagnosis occurred in non-metropolitan areas in both groups.




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