Smoking is the number one risk factor for lung disease in those born with Alpha-1. The European Lung Foundation and the European Respiratory Society describe the benefits of quitting smoking in two excellent diagrams.
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 email@example.com