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Diseases A–Z

Alpha–1 antitrypsin deficiency (also called AAT Deficiency or Alpha-1)

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic disease— it runs in families. Itís also called AAT deficiency or Alpha-1.

People with Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency donít have enough of a special protein that protects the lungs and liver. Over time, they can get can get permanent lung damage and develop COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They can also get liver damage.

If people have Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency AND they smoke, their lung damage is much worse. That's why itís very important that people with Alpha-1 do not smoke. Learn more about Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency from the American National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.