Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Overview Make an Appointment Find a Doctor Ask a Question Reviewed by Karina A. Serban, MD, Robert A. Sandhaus, MD, PhD, FCCP (November 01, 2017) 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. When Alpha-1 affects the liver, it is called Alpha-1 liver disease. There may also be an association between Alpha-1 and atypical TB infections in the lung, also called Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria. Programs & Services Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Program Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.