Asthma Society of Canada launches new interactive website for adolescents with asthma



    - AIRSquare.ca helps adolescents learn about living with and managing
    their asthma -

    TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - January 29, 2008 - The Asthma Society of Canada
(ASC) today announced the launch of www.AIRSquare.ca, an online asthma
resource designed to address the unique needs and challenges of adolescents
living with asthma. AIR (Asthma Information Resource) Square is a virtual mall
that features four adolescent friends living with asthma - Marc, Justin,
Melanie and Jessica. The four friends visit six highly interactive themed
stores at the AIR Square to learn about asthma and how to control it. At the
Clear the Air Pharmacy, they learn about the latest asthma treatments and have
their questions answered by an asthma educator. They visit the Airway Arcade
to sign up for free daily text messages to help them remember to take their
physician-recommended treatment, and they post their personal stories of
living with asthma on the message board found in the Food Court.
    "Over the last 20 years the incidence of asthma among adolescents has
been steadily increasing," says Christine Hampson, President and CEO, Asthma
Society of Canada. "The launch of www.AIRSquare.ca provides us with the
opportunity to address this growing concern, and highlights the importance of
communicating with adolescents about asthma management on their own terms and
in an environment that they feel most comfortable in."
    Compliance with physician-recommended therapies is one of the main
obstacles faced by adolescents living with the disease. In fact, studies have
shown that children with asthma become less compliant as they approach
adolescence,(1) a time when they are often more concerned with their
schoolwork and social life rather than their medical condition. Left
untreated, asthma can severely impact adolescents' ability to lead normal and
active lives. In fact, asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism from school
and the third leading cause of work loss.(2)
    Some of the common reasons for non-compliance among adolescents often
include: denial of their disease; being too busy or distracted to remember to
take their daily preventative treatment; the fear of being perceived as being
different from their peers; and the awkwardness of taking medication at school
or while out with friends.(3)
    "The adolescent years are a time of great physical and emotional change,
and dealing with asthma may seem a low priority to some; however, learning how
to properly manage their asthma will allow adolescents to lead fuller, happier
and more active lives," says Ms. Hampson. "This new website provides
adolescents with helpful information and tips on how to live successfully and
actively with asthma."

    HOW TO HELP ADOLESCENTS MANAGE THEIR ASTHMA

    Research suggests that there are several factors which can help
adolescents remain compliant, and therefore gain more control over their
asthma. Among them are working with a healthcare provider to develop an
individual asthma action plan, providing adolescents with educational
materials about their disease, regular follow-up appointments with their
physician, and taking a once- or twice-daily inhaled preventative treatment,
such as an ICS (an inhaled corticosteroid) - the recommended first-line
treatment for controlling asthma, according to the Canadian Asthma Consensus
Guidelines.(4)
    "For healthcare providers who treat adolescent patients with asthma, the
AIR Square website is an important new resource to help them educate this age
group about the importance of complying with their physician-recommended
treatment to achieve and maintain proper asthma control," says Dr. Denis
Bérubé, pediatric respirologist. "The recent approval of ALVESCO(R) for
adolescents, a once-daily, inhaled corticosteroid treatment (ICS), provides
adolescent patients with a once-daily inhalation option, with low rate of oral
side effect, making it easier for them to comply with their
physician-recommended treatment and therefore achieve improved disease
control."
    Adolescents with asthma should also do their best to avoid potential
triggers such as tobacco smoke, allergens (dust mites, molds, etc.), chemical
fumes, strong-smelling substances like perfumes, air pollutants and sudden
changes in weather temperatures.(5)

    
    ABOUT ASTHMA IN CANADA

    -   Canada has one of the highest incidences of asthma in the world(6) -
        affecting an estimated three million Canadians(7)

    -   The prevalence of asthma among adults (15 years of age and over) has
        been increasing over the last 20 years(8)

    -   Asthma affects approximately 12 per cent of Canadian adolescents 12
        to 19 years of age(9)

    -   Asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism from school and the third
        leading cause of work loss(10)
    

    ABOUT THE ASTHMA SOCIETY OF CANADA

    The Asthma Society of Canada is a nationally registered, voluntary health
organization with a 31-year reputation of providing respiratory support
services to patients and health professionals. Our vision is to ensure that
every Canadian child and adult diagnosed with asthma, associated allergies and
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) enjoys a high quality of life.
    For more information about the Asthma Society of Canada and our services,
visit www.asthma.ca, or email us at info@asthma.ca, or call our toll-free
support line 1-866-787-4050.

    (*)www.AIRSquare.ca is supported through an unrestricted educational grant
provided by Nycomed Canada Inc.


    References

    ---------------------------------------
    (1) Dinwiddie R., Muller W.G. Adolescent treatment compliance in asthma.
    Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine, Volume 95, Number 2, 1 February
    2002 , pp. 68-71(4).
    (2) Asthma Society of Canada, Asthma Facts & Statistics. Available at:
    http://www.asthma.ca/corp/newsroom/pdf/asthmastats.pdf.
    (3) Dinwiddie R., Muller W.G. Adolescent treatment compliance in asthma.
    Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine, Volume 95, Number 2, 1 February
    2002 , pp. 68-71(4).
    (4) Boulet L-P, Becker A, Bérubé D et al. for the Canadian Asthma
    Consensus Group. Canadian Asthma Consensus Report, 1999.
    CMAJ 1999;161 (11 Suppl).
    (5) Asthma Society of Canada, About Asthma, Available at
    http://www.asthma.ca/adults/about/triggers.php.
    (6) The Lung Association, retrieved November 2005
    http://www.lung.ca/news/2005.04.28.asthma.media.guide.v3.pdf,pg.3.
    (7) Asthma Society of Canada, November 2005;
    http://www.asthma.ca/adults/about/whoGetsAsthma.php.
    (8) Asthma Society of Canada, Asthma Facts & Statistics. Available at:
    http://www.asthma.ca/corp/newsroom/pdf/asthmastats.pdf.
    (9) Ward Health Strategies, Asthma in Canada, 2005.
    (10) Asthma Society of Canada, Asthma Facts & Statistics. Available at:
    http://www.asthma.ca/corp/newsroom/pdf/asthmastats.pdf.





For further information:

For further information: Jeanelle Frampton, Manning Selvage & Lee
(MS&L), Tel: (416) 847-1306, E-mail: jeanelle.frampton@mslpr.ca; Oxana
Latycheva, Asthma Society of Canada, Tel: (416) 787-4050 x108, E-mail:
oxana@asthma.ca

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