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Eur Respir J. 2006 Jan;27(1):77-84.

Estimated numbers and prevalence of PI*S and PI*Z alleles of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency in European countries.

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Div of Internal Medicine, Respiratory Diseases Branch, Hospital Valle del Nalón, 33920 Langreo, Principado de Asturias, Spain.


The current study focuses on developing estimates of the numbers of individuals carrying the two most common deficiency alleles, PI*S and PI*Z, for alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (AT-D) in Europe. Criteria for selection of epidemiological studies were: 1) AT phenotyping performed by isoelectrofocusing or antigen-antibody crossed electrophoresis; 2) rejection of "screening studies"; 3) statistical precision factor score of > or = 5 for Southwest, Western and Northern Europe, > or = 4 for Central Europe, > or = 3 for Eastern Europe; and 4) samples representative of the general population. A total of 75,390 individuals were selected from 21 European countries (one each from Austria, Belgium, Latvia, Hungary, Serbia-Montenegro, Sweden and Switzerland; two each from Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania; three each from Portugal and the UK; four each from Finland, The Netherlands, Norway and Spain; five each from Russia and Germany; six from Poland; eight from Italy; and nine from France). The total AT-D populations of a particular phenotype in the countries selected were: 124,594 ZZ; 560,515 SZ; 16,323,226 MZ; 630,401 SS; and 36,716,819 MS. The largest number of ZZ (5,000-15,000) were in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the UK, Latvia, Sweden and Denmark, followed by Belgium, Portugal, Serbia-Montenegro, Russia, The Netherlands, Norway and Austria (1,000-2,000), with < 1,000 in each of the remaining countries. A remarkable lack in number of reliable epidemiological studies and marked differences among these European countries and regions within a given country was also found.

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