A new article on MZ type Alpha-1 was published in the prestigious American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in April 2022. This is one of the top journals in the field of lung medicine and has a huge readership around the world. It was first founded in 1917 and was originally named the American Review of Tuberculosis.
The article appears in a new “American Thoracic Society (ATS) Patient Education and Information Series”. The article was co-authored by Gerry Finnerty from the Irish Alpha-1 community who reviewed content at all stages of development. Gerry ensured that the language and phrases used in the article were clear and easy to understand for everyone. Other authors included Alpha-1 researchers from Ireland and the USA. An “Action Steps” section presented the key messages at the end of the article.
Importantly, the article is free to read and has proved a valuable, peer-reviewed educational tool for Alpha-1 Foundation Ireland. It has already been shared with more than 100 Irish individuals with MZ AATD. Since the article was first published less than 12 months ago, it has been downloaded 1,611 times (as of March 4th, 2023).
MZ type Alpha-1 is common and affects up to 250,000 people in Ireland. It causes a moderate deficiency of the alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) protein, which is supposed to protect the lungs from substances we breathe in, like cigarette smoke. The much more rare ZZ type Alpha-1 causes severe deficiency of the AAT protein.
MZ is linked to increased risk of lung disease in smokers so stopping smoking or avoiding smoking or vaping completely is the best way to reduce any risk to your lungs.
A diagnosis of any genetic condition, like Alpha-1, can affect other members of the same family. Understanding the risk associated with MZ AATD means the affected individual will be more likely to inform other family members who may also be affected by AATD but remain undiagnosed. All the more important if those relatives are smokers.
If you know someone who is MZ type Alpha-1 please consider sharing this article with them. To read the article, visit the journal website here: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1164/rccm.2057P13April