Causes of bronchiectasis are airway obstruction (eg, foreign body aspiration), genetic diseases (such as cystic fibrosis), some systemic diseases, abnormal airway ciliar mobility, infections and cigarette smoking. Sometimes the cause of bronchiectasis cannot be ascertained.
A person may be at risk for bronchiectasis due to lung infections during childhood or other childhood diseases, such as measles, the flu or tuberculosis. Cystic fibrosis causes approximately 50% of all cases of bronchiectasis in the United States.
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