An “expanding area” of interest: The effect of elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (ETI) therapy on body image and weight

A. Scholz, C. Xanthe, D. Proud, A. Darby, Gareth Hall, A. McCulloch, R. Phillips, L. Speight, J. Duckers

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Introduction: Weight gain is now a concern for some commencing triple modulators in cystic fibrosis (CF). There is a paucity of evidence on body image in those living with CF.

Aims: To assess, for the first time, the effect of elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (ETI) therapy on body image.

Methods: Adults starting ETI therapy were approached during clinic appointments in the All Wales Adult CF Centre between late 2020 - early 2021. The Body Appreciation Scale and the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire were administered pre-ETI and between 6–12 months post starting. Lung function (FEV1), weight and BMI data were collected from clinic notes. SPSS version 27 was used to analyse the results of the paired data. A p value of <0.05 was considered significant.

Results: A total of 50 participants had FEV1 and weight measurements pre and post ETI initiation. Median age at ETI initiation was 30.0 years (19–59 years), 64% male. Median BMI increased by 8.5% (22.9 to 24.8 kg/m2), median body weight by 7.4% (66.5 to 71.4 kg) and mean FEV1 percentage predicted by 9.6% (69.1 to 75.7%).

In the 31 participants with pre & post-ETI initiation body image questionnaire data, areas of significant increase were related to increased feelings of pressure from family and peers to “look thinner,” “reduce body fat” or “improve my appearance” (p < 0.05). Demographics were similar to the whole group: 58% male, median age 27.5 years (19–57 years). There was no significant difference in weight gain compared to the whole group, despite a higher baseline BMI (23.6 kg/m2).

Conclusion: Reports of feeling pressure from others in relation to body image increased after ETI initiation. Similar to phase three trials, ETI therapy was associated with significant increases in BMI and FEV1. It is unclear what contribution COVID lockdowns had on weight during this period. Future questions are will weight gain continue and how will it impact compliance with ETI and other health-related outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S25-S25
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 09 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event46th European Cystic Fibrosis Conference - Austria, Vienna
Duration: 07 Jun 202310 Jun 2023


  • Body Image
  • identity
  • Cystic Fibrosis


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