Severe alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency (genotype PiZZ) is a well-known risk factor for COPD. A cohort of PiZZ and PiSZ individuals was identified by the Swedish national neonatal AAT screening program in 1972-1974 and followed up regularly since birth. Our aim was to study the lung function, respiratory symptoms and health status at the age of 38 years in comparison with a random sample of control subjects selected from the population registry.
The study group included 120 PiZZ, 46 PiSZ and 164 control subjects (PiMM), who answered a questionnaire on smoking habits and symptoms and the Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) on quality of life. A total of 89 PiZZ, 33 PiSZ and 92 PiMM subjects underwent spirometry.
Four percent of the PiZZ, 2% of the PiSZ and 12% of the control subjects were current smokers (P=0.008), and 17% of the PiZZ, 9% of the PiSZ and 21% of the control subjects had stopped smoking. The PiZZ current smokers had a significantly higher (ie, poorer) median activity score according to the SGRQ than the PiZZ never-smokers (P=0.032). The PiMM current smokers had significantly higher activity score (P