email forum - by joining the group e-mail forum you will be in contact with Alpha patients, their families, carers and friends living throughout the UK and overseas. We are a friendly group, and between us we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. There is always someone to help with any worries or queries you might have.

What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency?

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency also known as Alpha-1, A1AD or AATD is an inherited, genetic condition that is passed on from generation to generation. As the name suggests it is a deficiency of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) in the bloodstream. AAT is an enzyme produced in the liver to help protect the tissues of the body during infections. The low level of AAT in the blood occurs because the AAT is abnormal and cannot be released from the liver at the normal rate. This leads to a build up of abnormal AAT in the liver that can cause liver disease and a decrease of AAT in the blood that can lead to lung disease.

Newsletter Autumn 2019 Now Available

Autumn 2019 Alpha-1 UK Newsletter Issue 18
Now Available

Contains 28 pages full of News and Information including:

Charity Annual Update, Members Stories and much more


Top Story

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day

20th November 2019


COPD is a disease that affects a large number of people in the UK. COPD has many possible causes, but one of the lesser known causes is alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, or AATD. AATD may affect many Brits, but only some very severely, and can lead to a number of other health issues for sufferers.  

Karen O’Hara, Chair of the Alpha-1 UK Support Group, and Andrew Deans, Lead Research Nurse in Edinburgh, were interviewed about COPD and the often undiagnosed link of COPD and AATD.

AATD is a rare, genetic disorder caused by a defective protein produced in the liver. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all COPD patients should be tested for AATD at least once in their life. However, these recommendations are generally not strictly followed, and AATD is therefore under-diagnosed in most countries, including the UK. Just a small percentage of patients will have severe AATD, but an early and correct diagnosis is critical to enable targeted interventions to prevent disease progression. It is common for people with AATD to get COPD at a much younger age than people with COPD due to other causes.

Please click the link below to hear the full interview with Karen and Andrew.

Click Here


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