Alpha-1 - Important Facts

  • Although hard data about the prevalence of Alpha-1 in Australia doesn't yet exist, due to the absence of any comprehensive population or other study, it is estimated that about 1 in every 9 people carry a defective Alpha-1 gene, and that Alpha-1 affects 1 out of around 300 people. (Frederick J de Serres, PhD, 2002).
  • Early respiratory-related symptoms of Alpha-1 are often misdiagnosed as asthma, with an accurate diagnosis often taking several doctors and several years.


Common Signs and Symptoms of Alpha-1

Family history of lung disease or liver disease


  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or non-responsive asthma
  • Coughing with or without sputum (phlegm) production
  • Recurring respiratory infections
  • Rapid deterioration of lung function
  • Unexplained liver problems and /or elevated liver enzymes

For information on Alpha-1 testing in Australia, please see page 5 of the AAA's information booklet.


 The AAA has produced an information booklet which contains more detail about A1AD, and a poster for raising awareness. You can access the booklet and poster by clicking on the images below. The poster may be printed locally in A3 or A4 size. Please encourage your family doctor or respiratory physician to put a poster on display in the surgery or patient waiting area! For more information about A1AD, see our Links section.