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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin DeficiencyAlpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (often called simply “Alpha-1”) is a genetic condition that causes diminished levels of the protein, alpha-1 antitrypsin (or “AAT”), to be produced in the liver. Alpha-1 can cause liver disease in people of all ages and can lead to lung disease in adults. Alpha-1 is one of the most common inherited disorders. Lung disease caused by this condition accounts for about one percent of all cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States.

People with Alpha-1 may never develop any medical disease from this genetic condition. Others with Alpha-1 can develop Alpha-1 lung disease, Alpha-1 liver disease or other medical problems associated with this protein deficiency. If you have Alpha-1, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of disease. Most prominent among the things that can reduce the risk of disease is avoidance of tobacco smoke.

National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado, is one of the best places in the world to be treated for the adult lung and liver disease caused by Alpha-1. Our program has been devoted to the care of families with Alpha-1 since 1981, and our doctors have been involved in nearly every new drug evaluated for Alpha-1 treatment.

Our doctors are researchers too, so you have access to the latest Alpha-1 clinical trials and most effective therapies.

Alpha-1 Care at National Jewish Health

At National Jewish Health, you’ll find:

  • The latest in clinical trials
  • A focused and integrated approach
  • State-of-the-art diagnostic testing
  • The latest and best therapies
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Continued follow-up to meet your changing needs

Learn more about the Alpha-1 Treatment Program.

Our Specialists

  • James K. O'Brien

    James K. O'Brien, MD, FACP, FCCP

  • Irina Petrache

    Irina Petrache, MD

  • Robert A. Sandhaus

    Robert A. Sandhaus, MD, PhD, FCCP

Patient Stories

Judy Simon

Living the Sweet Life with Alpha-1

Judy got the test for Alpha-1, and it came back positive. She began weekly augmentation therapy at National Jewish Health and has felt a great relief of her symptoms. 

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