A new patient organisation aimed at providing support for over 400,00 Irish people living with the respiratory condition COPD was launched today October 21st by Mr. Alex White TD, Minister of State, Department of Health at an event in Dublin today.
The Alpha One Foundation welcomes this important development which will be of huge benefit to the thousands suffering with COPD in Ireland, including those with COPD in the Alpha-1 community. Alpha-1 is the only proven genetic cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term which covers emphysema and chronic bronchitis. World Health Organisation guidelines state that all COPD patients, regardless of age or smoking history, should be tested for Alpha-1.
The President of COPD Support Ireland is Sligo man Michael McGloin who was an inspirational guest speaker at the Alpha-1 Annual Conference in Marino recently. Since his own diagnosis with COPD in 1999 Michael has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition and provide support for other patients, setting up the first Irish website dedicated to COPD. Today saw the culmination of 14 years of hard work with the establishment of a national body to represent all COPD patients in Ireland.
To read the full press release of today’s event click here. To see an interview with Michael McGloin on TV3 evening news click here and scroll to 12 minutes in.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a vital protein produced by the liver to protect the lungs. It provides protection from the harmful effects of infections and inhaled irritants, particularly tobacco smoke. It can be easily measured by a simple blood test.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) is a genetic condition which, after cystic fibrosis, is the commonest genetic disorder in Ireland. It severely affects more than 15,000 people, with another 250,000 carriers also at risk of lung and liver disease on the island of Ireland. It is a proven genetic risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The Alpha-1 Foundation Ireland provides free testing for Alpha-1 as part of a national screening programme which is funded by the HSE. It is a simple blood test. For more details ring 01-8093871 or email firstname.lastname@example.org