The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Letter to the Editor
Editor, – I wonder why alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency was not mentioned in the article on 'Managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease' (Aust Prescr 2007;30:59-63). There is worldwide evidence that this genetic problem is much more common than it was thought in the past. In fact the World Health Organization advises that everybody with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should be tested for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, especially since there is treatment for it, though no cure.
Michael A Kennedy
General practitioner, retired
- Blanco I, de Serres FJ, Fernandez-Bustillo E, Lara B, Miravitlles M. Estimated numbers and prevalence of PI*S and PI*Z alleles of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency in European countries. Eur Respir J 2006;27:77-84.
- American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement: standards for the diagnosis and management of individuals with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003;168:818-900.
- Dirksen A, Dijkman JH, Madsen F, Stoel B, Hutchison DC, Ulrik CS, et al. A randomized clinical trial of alpha(1)-antitrypsin augmentation therapy. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1999;160:1468-72.