Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency - Screening and Prevention - Screening and Prevention

You may want to talk to your doctor about testing for AAT deficiency if you have a parent, sibling, or child with the condition, even if you do not have symptoms. Learn more about testing for AAT deficiency.

There is no way to prevent AAT deficiency because the condition is inherited. You may want to talk to a genetic counselor if you are planning to have children and think they are at risk of having AAT deficiency. A genetic counselor can answer questions about the risk and explain the choices that are available.

If you have AAT deficiency, you can take steps to prevent or delay lung diseases related to AAT deficiency. One important step is to quit smoking. If you do not smoke, do not start.

Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking. If you have trouble quitting smoking on your own, consider joining a support group. Many hospitals, workplaces, and community groups offer classes to help people quit smoking.

For more information about how to quit smoking, visit Smoking and Your Heart and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Your Guide to a Healthy Heart. For free help and support to quit smoking, you may call the National Cancer Institute’s Smoking Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848).

Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke and places with dust, fumes, or other toxic substances that you may inhale. Check your living and working spaces for things that may irritate your lungs. Examples include flower and tree pollen, ash, allergens, air pollution, wood-burning stoves, paint fumes, and fumes from cleaning products and other household items.