Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD)

Andrew Cave & Neil Drummond

Natalia Stavila (

Ethics approval granted



In Canada, primary care physicians provide care for 80-90% of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Among these patients, an undetected and vulnerable minority is genetically predisposed to lose lung function rapidly and prematurely because of the near absence of Alpha 1 Antitrypsin (AAT). It is important to detect these patients early to optimize their management. Guidelines recommend screening all high-risk COPD patients for the detection of Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD). High risk patients include those who developed COPD before aged 65 years and those COPD patients who have never smoked.


Our main objective is to increase family physicians awareness and knowledge regarding Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) in patients with COPD, which in turn, will increase the detection rate for AATD for patients' benefit.


A detection tool, validated by CPCSSN, identifies all COPD patients in an EMR. The tool will provide primary care providers with an EMR ID identified list of patients who are either under 65 or have no record of ever having smoked. The list will allow primary care providers to identify patients who have never been tested AATD and initiate the screening process. An updated list of patients will be sent to primary care providers after six months in order to determine which patients are still unscreened. This will aid in early, proactive detection of those who have AATD.