|Columbus, Ind. - The Lung Institute at Columbus Regional Hospital is offering a free screening on Saturday, January 23 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other breathing conditions. The screening is to identify a genetic disorder called Alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, also known as Alpha-1. Alpha-1 affects an estimated 100,000 Americans and is responsible for up to three percent of COPD cases in the United States. A low level of Alpha-1 allows certain enzymes to attack healthy tissues in the body, primarily in the lungs. |
"This is the first time that we have offered this genetic disorder screening locally," says Dr. Sandeep Bansal, pulmonologist at the Lung Institute at Columbus Regional Hospital. "This is an important test to help identify patients with Alpha-1 so that a therapy program can help replace missing or reduced levels of AAT for improved lung function."
The free screening involves a simple finger-stick blood test, and fasting is not required before the test. The American Thoracic Society recommends people who should be tested for the deficiency include:
Screenings are done by appointment only, and can be scheduled by calling
- All adults with symptomatic emphysema regardless of smoking history
- All adults with symptomatic COPD regardless of smoking history
- All adults with symptomatic asthma whose airflow obstruction is incompletely reversible after bronchodilator therapy
- Asymptomatic patients with persistent obstruction on pulmonary function tests with identifiable risk factors (i.e. smoking, occupational exposure)
- Siblings of individuals with Alpha-1
The Lung Institute at Columbus Regional Hospital is one of only a few centers nationwide to offer an innovative approach to lung disease through advanced diagnostic testing, treatment, and disease management for pulmonary care patients.