NATICK, Mass., May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) today announced its donation to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to support education initiatives designed to increase public awareness of asthma management and treatment. The Company's support coincides with Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month in May.
According to AAFA, more than 20 million Americans suffer from asthma -- a respiratory disease that causes the airways in the lungs to narrow, making it difficult to breathe. This condition can cause a significant negative impact on the quality of life for people with asthma, and in some cases can be life threatening. Asthma accounts for approximately 13 million asthma attacks, 2 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates 300 million people suffer from asthma with 250,000 asthma-related deaths annually. It is one of the most common and costly diseases in the world and its prevalence has increased significantly in recent decades. Although there is no existing cure for asthma, it can be managed with proper education and treatment.
AAFA is the largest asthma and allergy patient advocacy organization in the world, with a focus on developing health education programs to promote national awareness, organizing state and national advocacy efforts, and funding research for better treatments and cures. Through its programs, AAFA is helping to improve the quality of life for patients and families living with asthma.
"We applaud AAFA in their dedication to educate and improve the quality of life for people with asthma and are proud to sponsor their efforts to promote asthma awareness," said David Pierce, President of Boston Scientific's Endoscopy Division, which develops innovative medical technologies used to diagnose, palliate and treat a range of digestive and pulmonary diseases. "Through support of public education and awareness programs, we can help patients take control of asthma with proper management and treatment."
In recognition of Asthma Awareness Month, Boston Scientific hosted a webinar on May 4 to educate asthma-treating physicians about asthma management and the Alair® Bronchial Thermoplasty System, an innovative device-based procedure for treating severe asthma. A replay of the webinar, presented by Mario Castro, M.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine, is available at www.visualwebcaster.com/vwp/player/launch.asp?id=77807. In addition, Boston Scientific will support AdvaMed's Medtech Day on May 24 at the California State Capitol in Sacramento to bring attention to new medical technologies, including bronchial thermoplasty to treat severe asthma. It is estimated that 5 to 10 percent of those suffering from asthma in the U.S. are diagnosed with severe persistent asthma.
In 2010, Boston Scientific acquired Asthmatx, which has developed the Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System, a catheter-based outpatient procedure that provides long-lasting and improved asthma control for adult severe asthma patients. Clinical data show bronchial thermoplasty is safe and effective in managing severe, persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with drugs. For more information, visit www.BTforAsthma.com.
For more information about asthma, including the findings from a significant asthma survey conducted by AAFA, visit www.aafa.org/SevereAsthma.
About Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. For more information, please visit: www.bostonscientific.com.
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