Babies born with cystic fibrosis suffer from a number of complications which includes lower average birth weight.

According to the research, while babies with CF are often born prematurely, this only accounts for around 40 per cent of the effect on birth weight.

This means that the CF mutation could also have an effect on the way babies develop within the womb. These results may be the first step to understanding and improving the health of babies with CF before they are born.

The findings further show that babies born to disadvantaged families are likely to have a lower weight at birth, regardless of whether or not they have cystic fibrosis. This indicates that the socio-economic inequalities in outcomes that occur in CF may start in the intrauterine period.