Breathing Life Into a Breath 'Taking' Disease

New Social Media Campaign Promotes Awareness of Frequently Misdiagnosed Form of Lung Disease

VANCOUVER, May 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada (PHA Canada) is proud to announce a new social media awareness campaign targeting all Canadians.  The goal is to bring about greater awareness of the devastating illness, pulmonary hypertension (PH), in order to promote earlier diagnosis.

While many Canadians know about asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, few Canadians are aware of pulmonary hypertension (PH), a life-threatening condition that literally takes a person's breath away.  Even fewer know about chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), one type of PH.1

"Patients with PH and CTEPH most commonly suffer from progressive shortness of breath or dyspnea, which can become disabling. Because dyspnea can also be due to many other less severe diseases of the heart and lungs as well as being unfit, there is often a 2-3 year delay in the diagnosis of PH," says Dr. Sanjay Mehta, Professor of Medicine and Director Southwest Ontario PH Clinic in London, Ontario and Chair, Board of Directors, PHA Canada. "This is a serious issue in the care of PH patients, as early diagnosis of PH can mean the difference between life and death. It is PHA Canada's priority to increase awareness of PH and especially CTEPH, in order to promote earlier diagnosis and excellent medical care of PH patients, leading to a better quality of life and longer survival."

Key cornerstones of the campaign include new CTEPH-focused pages on the PHA Canada website and a unique Twitter handle, @CTEPHAware dedicated specifically to CTEPH.  The goal is to bring CTEPH to life through these educational platforms using 'real-life' story telling through video vignettes and shorter 6-second video clips (Vine).

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, we're hoping compelling video vignettes will take our message to new heights," says Angie Knott, National Manager, PHA Canada.  "Our goal is to educate Canadians about CTEPH in a way that really helps them understand and learn.  We are thrilled to offer new platforms of support and education to the PH community, including people at risk of developing PH and CTEPH and their caregivers."

This announcement comes on World PH Day -- a widely adopted global awareness day reinforcing the need for increased awareness and knowledge of all forms of pulmonary hypertension to facilitate early diagnosis.

Visit www.phacanada.ca/CTEPH and follow @CTEPHAware to learn more about this breathtaking disease and engage in discussions of hope, support and information sharing.

About PH & CTEPH
Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a progressive life-threatening condition characterized by high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.2 It is estimated around 5,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with PH, but as many as 10,000 may be affected by the condition.3

Of those diagnosed with PH, a small subgroup will be diagnosed with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). CTEPH can potentially be corrected by surgery.1

About PHA Canada
The Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada (PHA Canada) is a national, registered charity. Our mission is to empower the Canadian pulmonary hypertension community through awareness, advocacy, education, research and patient support. PHA Canada is working to end the invisibility and isolation often experienced by those living with this life-changing disease. To learn more about PHA Canada and pulmonary hypertension, please visit www.PHACanada.ca

This educational campaign is supported in partnership with Bayer Inc.

References
_____________________________________

1 Mehta, S et al Diagnostic evaluation and management of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: A clinical practice guideline. Can Respir J 2010; 17(6):301-334.
2 PHA Canada website, What is PH? http://www.phacanada.ca/en/education/ Last accessed February 6, 2014.
3 PHA Canada website, What is PH? http://www.phacanada.ca/en/education/ Last accessed February 5, 2014.


Video with caption: "Video: Lynda is a CTEPH patient who was diagnosed in 2011. This is her CTEPH story.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE1LcsXi1hE

Video with caption: "Video: Dianne is a CTEPH patient who was diagnosed in 2013. This is her CTEPH story.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsK3U2caj40

Video with caption: "Dr. Sanjay Mehta is a CTEPH-treating doctor.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgVlfXXpjTo

SOURCE: Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada

For further information:

Angie Knott
PHA Canada
(604) 682-1036
aknott@phacanada.ca

Jennifer Runza
beSPEAK Communications
(416) 319-0014
jennifer@bespeakcommunications.com

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Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada

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