Although rare, a genetic condition,
alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, may cause COPD. Those with this condition
have low levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AATD), a protein made in the liver.
If you have this condition and smoke, COPD can worsen very quickly. Because
not all individuals with COPD have AATD, and because some individuals with
COPD have never smoked, it is believed that there are other genetic
predispositions to developing COPD.