10 May 2016
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.