5 doctors weighed in:
Is emphysema common for nonsmokers?
5 doctors weighed in

Dr. David Cooke
Surgery - Thoracic
2 doctors agree
In brief: No
However, if some one has a genetic predisposition to emphysema, such as alpha-1-antitrypsin disease, then they can develop emphysema.
Also, people who are exposed to second hand smoke on a chronic basis can develop emphysema.

In brief: No
However, if some one has a genetic predisposition to emphysema, such as alpha-1-antitrypsin disease, then they can develop emphysema.
Also, people who are exposed to second hand smoke on a chronic basis can develop emphysema.
Dr. David Cooke
Dr. David Cooke
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Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine
In brief: No...
COPD is not common in non-smokers but it can occur. The diagnosis includes alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, which is caused by an enzyme deficiency.
Treatment includes replacement of the enzyme to avoid lung as well as liver disease or to slow progression of disease, if present as well as treatment of any lung or liver disease that is present at time of diagnosis. Diagnosis is made via a blood test.

In brief: No...
COPD is not common in non-smokers but it can occur. The diagnosis includes alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, which is caused by an enzyme deficiency.
Treatment includes replacement of the enzyme to avoid lung as well as liver disease or to slow progression of disease, if present as well as treatment of any lung or liver disease that is present at time of diagnosis. Diagnosis is made via a blood test.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
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Dr. Mark Avdalovic
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
In brief: No
There are genetic predispositions for emphysema but even in those cases the patient is chronically exposed to smoke.
Recent data has demonstrated that anorexia nervosa can predispose to emphysema and premature birth.

In brief: No
There are genetic predispositions for emphysema but even in those cases the patient is chronically exposed to smoke.
Recent data has demonstrated that anorexia nervosa can predispose to emphysema and premature birth.
Dr. Mark Avdalovic
Dr. Mark Avdalovic
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Dr. Aaron Milstone
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
In brief: No
It is rare for non smokers to develop emphysema (usually it is caused by occupational exposures in non smokers or genetic deficiecy such as Alpha one antitrypsin).

In brief: No
It is rare for non smokers to develop emphysema (usually it is caused by occupational exposures in non smokers or genetic deficiecy such as Alpha one antitrypsin).
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Dr. Aaron Milstone
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