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Updated Asthma Guidelines to be Released at Press Conference

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 1997

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will hold a press conference on Monday, February 24, at 10:00 a.m. in San Francisco to release the Report of the Second Expert Panel on the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. The report is being released as part of an American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) meeting.

The expert panel was created by the Institute's National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP). Over the last two years, the panel has reviewed the scientific evidence on the diagnosis and management of asthma to update the NAEPP's first clinical practice guidelines, released in 1991.

The new report provides the latest information about how to diagnose and manage asthma, including identifying and controlling factors that trigger asthma, effectively using existing and new medications, and helping asthma patients become proficient in managing their own condition and preventing symptoms.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who have asthma and in the number of deaths and hospitalizations resulting from this disease. Asthma prevalence has increased from less than 7 million persons in 1980 to more than 14 million people in 1994.

The press conference speakers are: NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant; AAAAI President Dr. Philip Fireman; Dr. Shirley Murphy, expert panel chair; and panel members Dr. Harold S. Nelson and Dr. William Busse. The press conference will be held in Room 204 of the Moscone Center, 747 Howard St. in San Francisco.