November 2017: Alpha-1 Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is one of the most common serious hereditary disorders in the world and can result in life-threatening liver disease in children and adults or lung disease in adults. An estimated 100,000 children and adults in the U.S. have the severe deficiency. An estimated 25 million in the U.S. carry a single deficient gene that causes Alpha-1 and may pass the gene on to their children; and,

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 originates in the liver and can lead to liver failure at any time in life. It is the leading genetic cause of liver transplantation in children. Currently, the only treatment for liver disease of Alpha-1 is a liver transplant; and,

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 is the most common known genetic risk factor for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Lung disease is the most frequent cause of disability and early death among affected persons, striking in the prime of life and a major reason for lung transplants; and,

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 is widely under diagnosed and misdiagnosed. Fewer than 10% of those predicted to have Alpha-1 have been accurately diagnosed. It often takes an average of five doctors and seven years from the time symptoms first appear before proper diagnosis is made. However, Alpha-1 is easily detected using a simple test;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2017 as Alpha-1 Awareness Month in Michigan.