In a random sample of children (aged 9-11 years; n = 5629), who were studied according to the ISAAC phase II protocol, heterozygosity of the [[alpha].sub.1] antitrypsin ([[alpha].sub.1]-AT) Pi genotypes MS or MZ, or low [[alpha].sub.1]-AT plasma levels, were not associated with an increased risk of developing asthma. Asthmatics with low levels of [[alpha].sub.1]-AT were particularly prone to develop airway hyperresponsiveness and reduced lung function.
Arch Dis Child 2004;89:230-231. doi: 10.1136/adc.2002.023614
Heterozygous [[alpha].sub.1] antitrypsin ([[alpha].sub.1]-AT) phenotypes have been suggested to contribute to the risk of developing asthma and atopic diseases in children (1) and adults. (2) Lack of an effective airway protease screen may contribute to the inflammatory processes characteristic of asthma in predisposed children, which may lead to an increased risk for the development of asthma, reduced pulmonary function, and signs of more severe symptoms of asthma and related atopic disorders.
The relation between the prevalence and severity of asthma and allergic disorders and Pi heterozygosity and [[alpha].sub.1]-AT plasma levels, respectively, was studied in two large random samples of schoolchildren in eastern and western Germany.
Using the ISAAC phase II study protocol, cross-sectional surveys addressing all fourth graders (aged 9-11 years) via parental questionnaires (including the ISAAC core questions) at randomly selected schools in Dresden (n = 3668) and Munich (n = 3830), Germany, were …