How do I know if I am at risk for emphysema?

How do I know if I am at risk for emphysema?

You are at risk of developing emphysema:

  • If you smoke or smoked in the past
  • If you are exposed to second-hand smoke
  • If you have had many years of exposure to air pollution
  • If you have had many years of exposure to chemical fumes, vapors, and dusts usually linked to certain jobs
  • If you have had frequent and severe lung infections, especially during childhood
  • If you have a family member with Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • If you are over 40 and meet any of the above conditions

To learn more:

Alpha-1 Foundation
This Web site covers some of the signs of people at risk of having Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and tells them how to get screened for it. Click on the tab marked Alpha-1 at the top of the page.
Healthy Air at Work
This page from the American Lung Association gives information about how people can prevent workplace exposure to contaminants that can contribute to emphysema and other lung diseases.
Secondhand Smoke
(National Jewish Medical and Research Center)
Learn about second-hand smoke and how it affects your health. Tips on how to avoid it are also offered.
Smog-Who Does it Hurt? What You Need to Know About Ozone and Your Health.
(Environmental Protection Agency)
This site explains why smog is harmful to your health and what scientists know and don’t know about its long term effects. You will learn what ozone is and why you should be concerned about your exposure to it.
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Written by: Lillian Trettin, Ph.D.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Tuesday April 29, 2008 12:26 PM