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New Survey Reveals Gap in Understanding of Alzheimer's Disease Risk and Prevention Among Most Vulnerable Populations
Date:5/4/2009

Research presented to the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus Spring Health Braintrust finds African American and Hispanic adults are misinformed about Alzheimer's but support a screening test

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- African American and Hispanic adults are more concerned about Alzheimer's disease, but are less informed about prevention of and risk factors than Caucasians, according to new survey results announced today by Eisai, Inc. Dr. Sharon Richardson, vice president of Medical Affairs at Eisai Inc. presented these findings last week at the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Spring Health Braintrust and National Minority Quality Forum 6th Annual Health Disparities Leadership Summit and Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.

"African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to develop Alzheimer's. In addition, they have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease -- all of which increase the risk of Alzheimer's," said Dr. Richardson. "These survey results, which show less knowledge about the disease and interventions in minority groups, are a wake-up call for better education and increased access to screening."

Eisai conducted the research to learn more about the perceptions of Alzheimer's disease among African American and Hispanic adults. African Americans surveyed expressed higher levels of concern about Alzheimer's disease than their Caucasian counterparts, but only half knew that people can take action to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Data also showed that 65 percent of African Americans and 49 percent of Hispanics believe race plays a role in the quality of care received for Alzheimer's.

"These data point to a health literacy gap in minority communities with the potential to impact health outcomes if not properly addressed through increased education, screening and access to care," said Lonnel Coats, president and COO, Eisai Corporation of North America. "We commend the CBC for advancing the discussion of health disparities and for providing a forum to explore potential solutions. As a company committed to human health care (hhc), Eisai will continue to work with health care professionals, patients and policymakers to improve access and quality of care for all people with Alzheimer's."

A majority of respondents supported an Alzheimer's screening test and thought the government should do more to ensure access. Barriers to appropriate care include cost as well as the perception that quality of care is influenced by race.

"We must continue our work to reduce healthcare disparities across many chronic diseases and ensure equality of access," said Congresswoman Donna Christensen (D-VI), Chair, Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. "For Alzheimer's, we need to make sure proper screening is available and that patients and physicians are having productive dialogue about this disease. On a broader scale, results of this survey underscore the need for better health services in minority communities."

About the Survey

Eisai and The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation collaborated on a survey, conducted by Dutko Research and Polling, to learn more about African American and Hispanic adults' perceptions about the risks for and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Funding for the survey was provided by Eisai. The national telephone survey assessed the opinions and attitudes of 601 African American adults and 602 Hispanic adults across the United States from March 26-April 7, 2009. The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 4.0 percent.

About Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. It is a progressive brain disease currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. More than five million Americans currently have AD. Approximately 50 percent of Alzheimer's disease patients in the United States are diagnosed and only half of the patients who are diagnosed receive treatment that can slow the progression of AD symptoms.

Alzheimer's disease gradually destroys a person's memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. People with Alzheimer's disease experience difficulties in memory severe enough to have an impact on their work, social activities and family life. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, there are treatments to help slow the progression of the symptoms of the disease.

About Eisai Corporation of North America

Eisai Corporation of North America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. Eisai Corporation of North America supports the activities of its operating companies in North America, which include: Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc., a discovery operation with strong organic chemistry capabilities; Morphotek, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; Eisai Medical Research Inc., a clinical development group; Eisai Inc., a commercial operation with manufacturing and marketing/sales functions; and Eisai Machinery U.S.A., which markets and maintains pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery. For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com.

About The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc. was established in 1976 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and education institute to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities. For more information about The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc, please visit http://www.cbcfinc.org/.


    Media Contact:
    Lynn Kenney
    Eisai Corporate Communications
    201-746-2294
    Lynn_kenney@eisai.com


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SOURCE Eisai Corporation of North America
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