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
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:
- All brothers and sisters
- Children, parents, or distant relatives
Since alpha-1 is a genetic condition, only a blood test can determine if you have it, but first, you should be screened with AlphaID to see if a blood test is necessary.
You can order an AlphaIDTM Genetic COPD Screener from Grifols, and give it to your loved ones to encourage them to get screened for alpha-1 by their doctor. AlphaID is an easy cheek swab test to screen you for genetic COPD. Knowing their results can help them make decisions about the jobs they select and other lifestyle choices.
How can you treat your alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency?4
Augmentation therapies, like PROLASTIN-C LIQUID, are the only therapies indicated and approved by the FDA to treat alpha-1. It is important to work with your doctor on a plan that works best for you. This may also include:
- Supplemental oxygen
- Pulmonary rehabilitation