I haven’t stopped thinking about the risks of the common antitrypsin mutations that I posted about yesterday. Thankfully most people don’t often inhale the pulverized remains of skyscrapers and jet engines. But there are many people around the world that breathe other kinds of dangerous atmospheres, and we don’t yet know how extreme the environmental conditions need to be before antitrypsin mutations become risky.
Here’s a factoid for you: remember the ‘mild’ antitrypsin mutation that doubled the rate of decline in lung function of the World Trade Center rescue workers? A quarter of people from Spain and Portugal carry that same mutation. Hopefully I’ll get time later in the week to post on why antitrypsin mutations are so common.