Occupational exposure risks in individuals with PI*Z alpha(1)-antitrypsin deficiency

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Aug;162(2 Pt 1):553-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.162.2.9907117.


We obtained questionnaire and spirometry data from 128 alpha(1)-antitrypsin (alpha(1)AT)-deficient individuals with phenotype PI*Z to examine the relationship between chronic respiratory symptoms, airflow limitation, treatment requirements, and semiquantitative estimates of occupational exposure to dust, fumes, smoke, and gas. After adjusting for age, smoking, and prior lower respiratory tract infections, increased prevalence of chronic cough (OR = 4.69, 95% CI = 1.57-13.74, p = 0.006) and having left a job due to breathlessness (OR = 2.72, 95% CI = 1.07-6.92, p = 0.036) were seen in individuals reporting high mineral dust exposure compared with those with no exposure. Subjects reporting high mineral dust exposure also had significantly lower FEV(1) (31% predicted for high exposure versus 36% for low and 40% for unexposed, p = 0.032). The excess risk of chronic cough seen with occupational fumes or smoke exposure disappeared after adjusting for mineral dust exposure, but the association with lower FEV(1)/FVC ratio persisted (p = 0.022). Personal tobacco use was a significant risk factor for most outcome measures, but no interaction with occupational exposure was seen. These results suggest that occupational inhalational exposures are independently associated with respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation in severely alpha(1)AT-deficient individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Dust
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Gases
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Phenotype
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / physiology
  • Respiration Disorders / etiology*
  • Respiration Disorders / therapy
  • Smoke
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Spirometry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / complications*


  • Dust
  • Gases
  • Smoke