Serum Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Levels and the Clinical Course of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Nozomu Takei, Masaru Suzuki, Hironi Makita, Satoshi Konno, Kaoruko Shimizu, Hiroki Kimura, Hirokazu Kimura, Masaharu Nishimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), whereas increased levels of serum alpha-1antitrypsin occur in response to inflammation. The effects of alpha-1 antitrypsin levels on the clinical course of COPD had been unclear. We investigated the association of serum alpha-1 antitrypsin levels with the clinical course of COPD patients based on data from a 10-year prospective cohort study. Patients and methods: We analyzed 278 COPD patients who participated in the Hokkaido COPD cohort study and who did not meet the criteria for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. We divided the subjects into 3 groups according to quartiles of serum alpha-1 antitrypsin levels at baseline: Lower group (<116 mg/dL, n = 66); middle group (116 to ≤141 mg/dL, n = 145); and higher group (>141 mg/dL, n = 67). The annual change in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and events of COPD exacerbation were monitored during the first 5 years, and mortality was followed-up during the entire 10 years. Results: At baseline, the higher group showed lower body mass index; higher computed tomography emphysema score; lower diffusing capacity; higher levels of acute-phase-roteins; and higher blood neutrophil counts. Longitudinal analyses revealed that in the higher group, the annual decline in FEV1 was rapid and the 10-year mortality was higher, but there was no association between serum alpha-1 antitrypsin levels and time to first exacerbation. Conclusion: COPD subjects with higher serum alpha-1 antitrypsin levels were associated with a worse systemic inflammation status and higher 10-year mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2885-2893
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of COPD
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Inflammation
  • Lung function decline
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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