By Wissam Chatila, MD, PhD, as told to Kara Meyer Robinson

When you learn you have genetic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the first step is to educate yourself about your diagnosis.

If you have genetic COPD, also called alpha-1, it means you have low levels of alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT). That’s a protein made in the liver that travels through your bloodstream and protects your lungs. If there’s too little AAT circulating in your blood, you can get liver disease or lung disease.

It’s important to be aware of treatments and other resources that are available to you. Since this is a genetic condition,…


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