I actually found out I had AAT or alpha-1 antitrypsin from DNA testing. I was not having the tests done for that. Both my dad and aunt had COPD. While few people know they have it, it is estimated that as many as 100,000 people have it. You can pass it on to your children. People with this deficiency can get COPD even if they have never smoked or been exposed to harmful pollutants. My parents were both smokers. I think I came out of the womb coughing. If you have this gene you can pass on other risk factors.
1 out of 6 people with COPD have never smoked. Smoking does account for 9 out of 10 deaths.
What are the symptoms of COPD? constant coughing or smoker’s cough, shortness of breath, excessive sputum, you feel you cannot breathe, wheezing, you feel you can not take a deep breath.