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Alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited disorder that can cause lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which is a chronic lung condition that prevents the air supply from getting to the lungs). It affects about 1 in 1600 to 1 in 5000 people. Patients with lung disease suffer from shortness of breath, reduced ability to exercise and wheezing. People who smoke are more seriously affected and have a greater risk of dying from the disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is quite common, even more so than asthma. A typical symptom is a persistant cough. When the condition is advanced, it gets harder and harder to breathe. At that point even everyday activities such as climbing stairs, gardening, or taking a walk can leave you out of breath. COPD develops gradually over the course of many years.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 12, 2015

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