Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, or more simply Alpha-1, is a genetic condition that causes diminished levels of the protein, alpha-1 antitrypsin, produced in the liver. 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.
When Alpha-1 affects the lungs, it can cause COPD and is called Alpha-1 Deficiency or Alpha-1 lung disease.