about alpha - How common
How common is alpha-1?
If you have alpha-1, you are not alone.
- Approximately 100,000 people in the United States have alpha-1, but more than 9 out of 10 don't know they have it3
- Alpha-1 may be a contributing cause of up to 3% of all COPD cases in the United States3
- Since alpha-1 is a genetic condition, if you are diagnosed with alpha-1, you should encourage your family members to get tested as well
What are the symptoms of alpha-1 and why haven't I been tested before?
One reason people are not tested for alpha-1 earlier is that the symptoms of alpha-1–induced lung disease are identical to those of other common lung diseases such as asthma, COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis), and bronchiectasis.1
Alpha-1 is often not diagnosed in patients with these diseases because the symptoms are similar:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Phlegm production
- Low tolerance for exercise
about alpha - patient image
about alpha - what does - 2
Why you should encourage your family to get screened for alpha-1
Since alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic condition, a family with one member diagnosed with alpha-1, or found to be a carrier, could have other members affected. If you are diagnosed with alpha-1, you should encourage your family members to get screened.
The American Thoracic Society guidelines, the World Health Organization guidelines, and the COPD Foundation guidelines have recommended which family members of people with alpha-1 should also be tested for alpha-15-7:
- Biological brothers and sisters
- Biological children, parents, or distant relatives
Because alpha-1 is a genetic condition, only a blood test can help their healthcare professional determine if they have alpha-1, but first, they should be screened to see if that is necessary.
They can go to their healthcare professional’s office and ask to be screened or they can screen themselves at home and for free* with the FDA-cleared AlphaIDTM At Home Genetic Health Risk Service and share their results with their doctor. To learn more, visit www.AlphaIDAtHome.com.
The AlphaID At Home Genetic Health Risk Service is at least 99% accurate and enables consumers, in the US and over the age of 18 years old, to confidentially learn their risk for alpha-1 for free. Results are only provided to the person who submitted their sample. The process is easy—they simply collect a small saliva sample using the AlphaIDTM At Home Saliva Collection kit by swabbing the inside of their cheek from the comfort of their home and send it to a third-party lab. The postage and lab processing are included at no charge. An email will be sent alerting them that their report is ready to be viewed through their password protected account. Knowing their results can help them make decisions about the jobs they select and other lifestyle choices.
The receipt of this free testing service does not create any expectation or obligation on your part to purchase or use any product or service offered by any manufacturer.