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3. COPD Can Be Inherited
Many conditions run in families, and the same thing is true of a rare condition called alpha 1 anti-trypsin (AATD) deficiency. If you have this disease you lack of a protein that helps protect against lung damage, and are more likely to develop COPD. AAT deficiency raises the risk not only of lung disease, but also liver damage, because alpha 1 antitrypsin is normally produced in the liver.
In AATD deficiency, the AAT proteins don’t have the right shape and end up getting stuck in the liver, unable to reach the lungs. AATD deficiency may not cause any symptoms, or can be associated with shortness of breath, wheezing, frequent lung infections, fatigue, problems with the vision and weight loss. AATD deficiency can be diagnosed with blood and genetic tests.