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AstraZeneca, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and LULAC Join Forces to Promote Needed Heart Health Education in Hispanic Communities
Date:5/20/2009

Community Partnership Designed to Urge Families to Take Action against Atherosclerosis

WILMINGTON, Del., May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) today kicks off the 2009 JUNTOS CONTRA LA ATERO campaign, featuring the Artery Explorer -- a state-of-the-art, multisensory, motion simulator that helps people visualize atherosclerosis (athero), the progressive build-up of plaque inside the arteries. For a second year in a row, AstraZeneca has partnered with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (The Alliance) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to bring the Artery Explorer and education materials to Hispanic communities throughout the country.

"Education is the most important tool we have in helping our community understand the health issues that concern us the most," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of The Alliance. "We look forward to another successful year in reaching even more families with valuable information on atherosclerosis."

Designed to help bring awareness and understanding of athero and encourage people to take steps to protect their arteries, a national, bilingual education movement called JUNTOS CONTRA LA ATERO/ US AGAINST ATHERO was conceived over two years ago. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness of the leading cause of stroke and heart disease -- atherosclerosis, and help people fight athero with knowledge.

"The JUNTOS CONTRA LA ATERO initiative has helped positively affect the Hispanic community by raising heart health awareness and visually bringing to life the physical effects of a silent disease," said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of LULAC. "Our mission is to help AstraZeneca spread the word and rally our community to take a more proactive role in maintaining family heart health."

Heart disease is the number one killer of Hispanic Americans, claiming the lives of 28.6 percent of the more than 122,000 Hispanics who die each year.(1) Additionally, athero typically has no signs or symptoms until an artery becomes severely narrowed or completely blocked. At this point, people often suffer a heart attack, stroke, or other serious, potentially fatal, health problems.

Inside the Artery Explorer, participants travel through the winding path of the human circulatory system as the arteries become narrow and blocked with plaque. Along the way, people are confronted by common risk factors for athero, such as LDL (bad) cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. The experience, which is narrated and illustrated in Spanish, culminates with a head-on collision with a blood clot; memorably demonstrating how athero can lead to heart attack and stroke.

For more information about athero, visit www.LaAtero.com. To receive additional information, be sure to click the link for the AteroInformados program, an ongoing educational series packed with information about athero, tips for staying active and eating healthy, and questions for your doctor. AstraZeneca will also make a $1 donation, up to a total of $25,000, to the National Latina Health Network, a non-profit organization that addresses critical health concerns affecting Latinas and their families. The Web site also features a video of the journey through the arteries for those unable to experience the Artery Explorer in person.

About Atherosclerosis (Athero)

Athero is the progressive buildup of plaque -- made of fat, cholesterol, and other substances -- in the inner walls of the arteries.(2) Elevated cholesterol and other risk factors can contribute to the disease, and for many, the disease progresses silently, with no visible signs or symptoms.(3) Athero is the leading cause of coronary heart disease (CHD), which affects more than 1.2 million Americans and is the No. 1 killer in the U.S.(4) Approximately 785,000 Americans will have their first heart attack in 2009 and about every minute someone will die from a coronary event.(3) Athero is also a leading cause of stroke, which affects nearly 800,000 Americans each year.(3) Together, CHD and stroke kill more Americans every year than all cancers combined.

About JUNTOS CONTRA LA ATERO

JUNTOS CONTRA LA ATERO is a campaign sponsored by AstraZeneca to increase our nation's awareness of athero with hopes that all Americans will take steps to take care of their arteries. Through education and information, JUNTOS CONTRA LA ATERO supports people in becoming advocates for their own health and for the health of others. To join the JUNTOS CONTRA LA ATERO effort, please visit www.LaAtero.com.

About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation's foremost source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the United States. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation providing services to more than 15 million each year, making a daily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. For more information, visit www.hispanichealth.org or call the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645.

About LULAC

The League of United Latin American Citizens advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and in the supply of healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with global healthcare sales of $ 31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.5 billion dollar healthcare business.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings programs, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com.

(1) "Heart Facts 2007: Latino/Hispanic Americans." Available at http://www.kdheks.gov/cardio/download/Stroke_Month_toolkit/E_Hispanic_Audience/Stroke_Facts_Hispanic_Latino.pdf . Accessed on February 12, 2009.

(2) Strong et al. Prevalence and extend of atherosclerosis in adolescents and young adults. JAMA. 1999; 281 (8): 727-735.

(3) "What are the Signs and Symptoms of Atherosclerosis?" National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Atherosclerosis/Atherosclerosis_Signs.html. Accessed January 16, 2009.

(4) Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics: 2009 Update. American Heart Association. Accessed January 15, 2009.


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SOURCE AstraZeneca
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