Why should you test for alpha-1?
Because alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency (also known as alpha-1) is the major known genetic factor for COPD, the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society (ATS/ERS) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend targeted genetic testing for alpha-1 in all COPD patients1,2.
- >90% of those with alpha-1 remain undiagnosed3
- Laboratory testing is the only way to confirm alpha-11,2
- People carrying 1 Z allele are still at risk although they are not at severe risk4
Once a deficient allele has been ascertained, different measures should be considered5,6:
- Smoking prevention or cessation
- Minimizing the hazards of occupational respiratory pollutants
- Ensuring that the management of the disease is optimized
- The potential for family testing
- Whether augmentation therapy is appropriate for the patient