AATD or alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a lack of the protein alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) which is produced in the liver. The main job of AAT is to protect the lungs. A deficiency can lead to life-threatening lung and/or liver disease.
The first signs and symptoms of lung disease caused by alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency usually appear between ages 20 and 50.
The symptoms are:
- shortness of breath following mild activity,
- reduced ability to exercise, and
About ten percent of infants with the deficiency show signs of liver damage at birth. Fifteen percent of adult Alphas also develop liver disease.
Only a small fraction of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficient patients in the United Kingdom are aware of the causes of their condition.
This website is run by Alphas and their carers. We do our very best to ensure that all information shown here is up-to-date and accurate. However, you should always consult your own GP or other medical professional if you have the slightest concerns about your health.