+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Diagnosis of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency: a population-based study

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) remains an underdiagnosed condition despite initiatives developed to increase awareness. The objective was to describe the current situation of the diagnosis of AATD in primary care (PC) in Catalonia, Spain.


          We performed a population-based study with data from the Information System for Development in Research in Primary Care, a population database that contains information of 5.8 million inhabitants (80% of the population of Catalonia). We collected the number of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) determinations performed in the PC in two periods (2007–2008 and 2010–2011) and described the characteristics of the individuals tested.


          A total of 12,409 AAT determinations were performed (5,559 in 2007–2008 and 6,850 in 2010–2011), with 10.7% of them in children. As a possible indication for AAT determination, 28.9% adults and 29.4% children had a previous diagnosis of a disease related to AATD; transaminase levels were above normal in 17.7% of children and 47.1% of adults. In total, 663 (5.3%) individuals had intermediate AATD (50–100 mg/dL), 24 (0.2%) individuals had a severe deficiency (<50 mg/dL), with a prevalence of 0.19 cases of severe deficiency per 100 determinations. Nine (41%) of the adults with severe deficiency had a previous diagnosis of COPD/emphysema, and four (16.7%) were diagnosed with COPD within 6 months.


          The number of AAT determinations in the PC is low in relation to the prevalence of COPD but increased slightly along the study period. The indication to perform the test is not always clear, and patients detected with deficiency are not always referred to a specialist.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 30

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Prevalence of COPD in Spain: impact of undiagnosed COPD on quality of life and daily life activities.

          This study aimed to determine the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Spain and identify the level of undiagnosed disease and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQL) and activities of daily living (ADL). A population-based sample of 4274 adults aged 40-80 years was surveyed. They were invited to answer a questionnaire and undergo prebrochodilator and postbronchodilator spirometry. COPD was defined as a postbronchodilator FEV(1)/FVC (forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity) ratio of <0.70. For 3802 participants with good-quality postbronchodilator spirometry, the overall prevalence of COPD was 10.2% (95% CI 9.2% to 11.1%) and was higher in men (15.1%) than in women (5.6%). The prevalence of COPD stage II or higher was 4.4% (95%CI; 3.8%-5.1%). The prevalence of COPD increased with age and with cigarette smoking and was higher in those with a low educational level. A previous diagnosis of COPD was reported by only 27% of those with COPD. Diagnosed patients had more severe disease, higher cumulative tobacco consumption and more severely impaired HRQL compared with undiagnosed subjects. However, even patients with undiagnosed COPD stage I+ already showed impairment in HRQL and in some aspects of ADL compared with participants without COPD. The prevalence of COPD in individuals between 40 and 80 years of age in Spain is 10.2% and increases with age, tobacco consumption and lower educational levels. The rate of diagnosised COPD is very high and undiagnosed individuals with COPD already have a significant impairment in HRQL and ADL.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Quality standards for real-world research. Focus on observational database studies of comparative effectiveness.

            Real-world research can use observational or clinical trial designs, in both cases putting emphasis on high external validity, to complement the classical efficacy randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with high internal validity. Real-world research is made necessary by the variety of factors that can play an important a role in modulating effectiveness in real life but are often tightly controlled in RCTs, such as comorbidities and concomitant treatments, adherence, inhalation technique, access to care, strength of doctor-caregiver communication, and socio-economic and other organizational factors. Real-world studies belong to two main categories: pragmatic trials and observational studies, which can be prospective or retrospective. Focusing on comparative database observational studies, the process aimed at ensuring high-quality research can be divided into three parts: preparation of research, analyses and reporting, and discussion of results. Key points include a priori planning of data collection and analyses, identification of appropriate database(s), proper outcomes definition, study registration with commitment to publish, bias minimization through matching and adjustment processes accounting for potential confounders, and sensitivity analyses testing the robustness of results. When these conditions are met, observational database studies can reach a sufficient level of evidence to help create guidelines (i.e., clinical and regulatory decision-making).
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Estimated numbers and prevalence of PI*S and PI*Z alleles of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency in European countries.

              The current study focuses on developing estimates of the numbers of individuals carrying the two most common deficiency alleles, PI*S and PI*Z, for alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (AT-D) in Europe. Criteria for selection of epidemiological studies were: 1) AT phenotyping performed by isoelectrofocusing or antigen-antibody crossed electrophoresis; 2) rejection of "screening studies"; 3) statistical precision factor score of > or = 5 for Southwest, Western and Northern Europe, > or = 4 for Central Europe, > or = 3 for Eastern Europe; and 4) samples representative of the general population. A total of 75,390 individuals were selected from 21 European countries (one each from Austria, Belgium, Latvia, Hungary, Serbia-Montenegro, Sweden and Switzerland; two each from Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania; three each from Portugal and the UK; four each from Finland, The Netherlands, Norway and Spain; five each from Russia and Germany; six from Poland; eight from Italy; and nine from France). The total AT-D populations of a particular phenotype in the countries selected were: 124,594 ZZ; 560,515 SZ; 16,323,226 MZ; 630,401 SS; and 36,716,819 MS. The largest number of ZZ (5,000-15,000) were in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the UK, Latvia, Sweden and Denmark, followed by Belgium, Portugal, Serbia-Montenegro, Russia, The Netherlands, Norway and Austria (1,000-2,000), with < 1,000 in each of the remaining countries. A remarkable lack in number of reliable epidemiological studies and marked differences among these European countries and regions within a given country was also found.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                10 May 2016
                : 11
                : 999-1004
                [1 ]Department of Pneumology, Vall d’;Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain
                [2 ]Medicine Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain
                [3 ]IDIAP Jordi Gol, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
                [4 ]Departament Ciències Clíniques, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
                [5 ]Primary Care Centre Viladecans-2, Viladecans, Spain
                [6 ]Primary Care Centre Via Roma, Barcelona, Spain
                [7 ]CIBER of Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES), Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Marc Miravitlles, Department of Pneumology, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, P Vall d’Hebron 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain, Email mmiravitlles@
                © 2016 Barrecheguren et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                population based, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, diagnosis, screening, copd


                Comment on this article