November 2013: Alpha-1 Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AAT Deficiency or 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 in lung disease in adults; and

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 has been identified in virtually all populations. An estimated 25 million people in the United States carry a single deficient gene that causes Alpha-1 and may pass the gene on to their children; and

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 is widely under diagnosed and misdiagnosed. Fewer than 10% of those predicted to have Alpha-1 have been diagnosed and it often takes an average of five doctors and seven years from the time symptoms appear before proper diagnosis is made, which can be done using a simple blood test.

WHEREAS, it is important to increase awareness and detection of this serious hereditary and misdiagnosed disorder. During the month of November, a nationwide awareness campaign will take place throughout the country to educate the public as well as our medical community on Alpha-1 and detection and treatment for those affected by this condition.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2013 as Alpha-1 Awareness month in Michigan.