White House Applauds National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Posted on: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 1:04am
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Press Release Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

White House Applauds National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Friday April 28, 12:44 pm ET
President Bush Encourages Progress for Treatments, Cures

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 60 million American children and adults have asthma and allergies. Over the past two decades, prevalence rates for these diseases have doubled causing 2 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths each year. These diseases cost the U.S. economy over $25 billion annually, and one of the most challenging seasons for asthma and allergy sufferers is spring.
That is why the White House has provided encouragement to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declaring May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. "This month is an opportunity to increase awareness," wrote President Bush in a recent letter to AAFA, "and to highlight your commitment to serving people in need, enhancing our medical capabilities, and saving lives."

For Awareness Month, AAFA has created a series of free Web-based resources educating people how to recognize and prevent asthma and allergies:

Asthma -- (20 million Americans affected.) A chronic disease of the lungs characterized by hypersensitivity to inhaled allergens or irritants (pollen, smoke or pollution, for example) causing inflammation and constriction in the lower respiratory system. Symptoms include chronic coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath leading to difficulty breathing. See AAFA's free online education resource about asthma at [url="http://www.SleepWorkPlay.com."]http://www.SleepWorkPlay.com.[/url]

Seasonal Allergies -- (35 million Americans affected.) A chronic disease of the immune system characterized by an overreaction to inhaled allergens (pollen, for example) causing inflammation in the upper respiratory system. Symptoms include chronic sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and itchy/scratchy throat leading to severe congestion, headache, fatigue and difficulty breathing. See AAFA's free online education resource about seasonal allergies at [url="http://www.AllergyCapitals.com."]http://www.AllergyCapitals.com.[/url]

Food Allergies -- (12 million Americans affected.) A chronic disease of the immune system characterized by an overreaction to food allergens including milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish or shellfish causing severe inflammation of various parts of the body. Symptoms include swelling lips, tongue or throat, hives, difficulty breathing or "anaphylaxis," a deadly multi-organ allergic reaction. See AAFA's free online education resource about food allergies at [url="http://www.MyFoodAllergies.net."]http://www.MyFoodAllergies.net.[/url]

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading national nonprofit patient advocacy organization fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information to the public, offers educational programs to consumers and health professionals, leads advocacy efforts to improve patient care and supports research to find cures. Visit [url="http://www.aafa.org"]http://www.aafa.org[/url] for more information.

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