The researchers were indeed able to prove their hypothesis that gaining weight during a period of treatment for pulmonary exacerbations correlated with a longer period of time before symptoms heightened again.
Specifically, patients who were able to gain one kilogram throughout their treatment saw improved hazard ratios. By gaining just one kilogram, that hazard ratio changed to .79, which displayed a smaller risk for more pulmonary exacerbation than those who had not gained weight. If a patient gained more than that amount, the risk would drop even further.
This study has displayed new information in an area that had not been previously analyzed. However, it is by no means perfect. Because the data utilized in this study is second hand, as aforementioned, it cannot be taken at as high of a caliber. The study the data was taken from may have had specific limitations in mind, resulting in potentially skewed data for this research.
Another fault of the study is that it has not yet proven causality in regard to weight gain as a hindrance to pulmonary exacerbations. It is possible that weight gain during treatment does not fight against pulmonary exacerbations at all, but instead shows that the treatment received is working optimally. Therefore, further research is required to address these questions before the correlation can be fully determined.
The team of researchers published their final conclusion regarding the study as weight gain providing "a modifiable risk factor for pulmonary exacerbations that has the potential to improve quality of life and clinical care in individuals with CF."