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      Survival in the Swedish cohort with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, up to the age of 43–45 years

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          Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a hereditary disorder. AATD is a known risk factor for the development of emphysema and liver disease. A cohort of severe (PiZZ) and moderate (PiSZ) AAT-deficient newborn infants was identified by the Swedish national neonatal AAT screening in 1972–1974 and has been followed up since birth. Our aim was to study survival in this cohort up to 43–45 years of age in comparison with the general Swedish population.


          Data from 127 PiZZ, 2 PiZnull, 54 PiSZ, and 1 PiSnull subjects, who were identified by the neonatal screening in 1972–1974, were included in the study. To compare death rates in the PiZZ and PiSZ individuals with the general Swedish population, a standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was calculated as the ratio of observed to expected deaths.


          Seven PiZZ subjects died during the follow-up, to be compared with an expected 3.66 deaths for the general population, giving an SMR of 1.91 (95% CI 0.77–3.94). Four PiSZ subjects died compared to an expected 1.53 deaths, giving an SMR of 2.61 (95% CI 0.71–6.71). The cumulative probability of survival up to the age of 45 years was 94% (95% CI 90%–98%) for the study population. Six deaths occurred before the age of 8 years.


          Up to 43–45 years of age, there was no difference in survival between PiZZ and PiSZ individuals in comparison with the Swedish general population. The majority of deaths occurred during childhood.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Liver disease in alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency detected by screening of 200,000 infants.

           T Sveger (1976)
          We prosepctively studied 200,000 newborns to determine the frequency and clinical characteristics of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency. One hundred and twenty Pi Z, 48 Pi SZ, two PI Z-and one Pi S-infants were identified and followed to the age of six months. Fourteen of 120 Pi Z infants had prolonged obstructive jaundice, nine with severe clinical and laboratory evidence of liver disease. Five had only laboratory evidence of liver disease. Eight other Pi Z infants had minimal abnormalities in serum bilirubin and hepatic enzyme activity and variable hepatosplenomegaly. All 22 Pi Z infants with hepatic abnormalities, two thirds of whom were made, appeared healthy at six months of age. Ninety-eight Pi Z infants did not have clinical liver disease, but liver-function tests gave abnormal results in 44 of 84 at three months, and in 36 of 60 at six months of age. The number of small-for-gestational-age infants was greater (P less than 0.001) among those with clinical liver disease. None of the 48 Pi SZ infants had clinical liver disease, but 10 of 42 at three months and one of 22 at six months of age had abnormal liver function. The Pi Z and Pi SZ phenotypes are associated with covert or readily apparent hepatic dysfunction in the first three months of life.
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            Risk of cirrhosis and primary liver cancer in alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency.

            Previous reports have suggested an association between homozygous alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, cirrhosis, and primary liver cancer. To assess the risk of these complications we conducted a retrospective study based on 17 autopsied cases of alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency identified during the period 1963 to 1982 in the city of Malmö, Sweden. During the study period, autopsies were performed in 38,250, or 68.2 percent, of all patients in the city who died. From the homozygote frequency in the population, 21 of these were expected to have alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. The disease had been diagnosed in 20, and autopsies had been performed in 17 (1 child and 16 adults). Each autopsied case was matched with four controls selected from the same autopsy register, and the Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio (ORmh) was calculated. The results indicated a strong relation between alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency and cirrhosis (ORmh = 7.8; 95 percent confidence limits, 2.4 to 24.7) and primary liver cancer (ORmh = 20; 95 percent confidence limits, 3.5 to 114.3). When data were stratified according to sex, these associations were statistically significant only for male patients. We conclude that men with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency may be at higher risk for cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. The apparent male predominance suggests the additive effects of exogenous factors.
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              Clinical features and history of the destructive lung disease associated with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency of adults with pulmonary symptoms.

              Alpha-1-antitrypsin (alpha 1AT) deficiency is a hereditary disorder characterized in adults by a high risk for the development of severe destructive lung disease at an early age. The present study was designed to draw conclusions concerning the characteristics of a referral population of 124 patients with alpha 1AT deficiency and symptomatic emphysema. Typically, the alpha 1AT level was 30 mg/dl, and the alpha 1AT phenotype was almost always PiZZ. The individuals in this population were most often male, caucasian, and ex-smokers, and they had become dyspneic between 25 and 40 yr of age. Most routine blood tests were normal. The chest radiographs and ventilation-perfusion studies typically showed abnormalities with a lower zone distribution, and about one third of the study population had evidence suggestive of pulmonary hypertension. Lung function tests were typical for emphysema; the FEV1 and DLCO were the parameters most dramatically reduced, and the annual rate of decline of those parameters was greater than that of the general population. The cumulative probability of survival of this population indicated a significantly shortened lifespan with a mean survival of 16% at 60 yr of age compared with 85% for normal persons.

                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
                28 February 2019
                : 14
                : 525-530
                Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden, behrouz.mostafavi@
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Behrouz Mostafavi, Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Jan Waldenströms gata 24, plan 4, SUS MalmöS-205 02, Malmö, Sweden, Tel +46 40 33 1000, Email behrouz.mostafavi@
                © 2019 Mostafavi 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

                survival, screening, causes of death, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency


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