Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Inherited Emphysema)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD for short is a lung disease that affects millions of people each year. COPD is a general term used to describe diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In emphysema there is damage to the walls of the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. The earliest symptom of emphysema is shortness of breath during activity. Later the shortness of breath can occur at rest also. Most cases of emphysema are caused by smoking or other environmental factors. There is growing evidence that genetics can also increase the risk of developing emphysema.

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