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New Survey Reveals Hispanic-Americans Are Taking Steps to Better Understand and Manage GERD
Date:5/19/2008

- Follow-up Evaluation Shows Increased Disease Awareness Levels, However,

More Doctor Visits Are Still Needed -

WILMINGTON, Del., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Over the last three years, Hispanic-Americans have become increasingly aware of a potentially serious condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also known as Acid Reflux Disease. Approximately 6.1 million Hispanics in the United States suffer from GERD(1). A new survey measured GERD awareness and understanding among 1,000 Hispanic-Americans in the top-five U.S. markets, by Hispanic-American population. The survey was designed to evaluate whether or not progress in GERD education had occurred, as a follow-up to a 2005 survey conducted by Impacto Group LLC. It was revealed that 69 percent are familiar with common terms used to describe GERD, a progressive increase from the prior survey, which showed 34 percent were familiar with common terms to describe the condition(2).

While increased awareness of GERD was reported on the rise, the survey also showed that the number of Hispanic-Americans consulting a doctor about their symptoms has remained unchanged since 2005. This is an important and revealing statistic, as it is often necessary to work closely with physicians when managing GERD symptoms. A majority of Hispanic-Americans surveyed were aware that when left untreated, GERD can cause damage to the lining of the esophagus(3), yet over half of them who reported suffering from GERD have not consulted a doctor(4). Similarly in 2005, 57 percent revealed they had not consulted a doctor(1).

In addition, 47 percent of Hispanic-Americans reported they are frequently treating their symptoms with over-the-counter products and home remedies(5). This compares to 62 percent in 2005(6).

"The results from the follow-up survey are encouraging, as they demonstrate that Hispanic-Americans are taking a more proactive role in their personal healthcare, and becoming more informed about the prevalence of GERD in their community," said Marta Illueca, MD, a specialist in gastroenterology at AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) who pioneered the original survey. "But with more than six million Hispanic-Americans suffering from a condition that can severely impact their daily lifestyles, it becomes increasingly imperative for us to understand the signs and symptoms of GERD and talk with our doctors to help diagnose and treat the disease."

The latest survey also revealed that Hispanic-Americans are now increasingly able to identify symptoms of the condition. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they or someone in their household currently suffers from GERD-related symptoms two or more times a week(7). The symptoms most commonly experienced by those surveyed included: heartburn, belching, an acidic or sour taste in the mouth, hoarseness or persistent coughing(8). In 2005, only 38 percent identified themselves or someone in their household as suffering from heartburn, and 32 percent said they or someone in their household suffered from such symptoms(1).

GERD Awareness Survey Results -- Regional Perspective:

-- Out of the top-five U.S. markets by Hispanic-American population,

Houston had the highest awareness levels of GERD (75%), trailed by

Chicago and Los Angeles (tied at 71%), Miami (70%) and New York

(56%)(9).

-- Houston also had the highest rate of respondents with GERD experience

(53%) including those who either personally suffered from GERD or

heartburn, or someone in their household suffering from the condition,

two or more times a week(10).

-- Results from other markets included: Miami (44%), New York City

(42%), Chicago and Los Angeles (39%)(10).

-- New York City had the highest rate of respondents (48%) who consulted

with their doctor about acid reflux followed by Miami (47%), Chicago

(43%), Houston (41%) and Los Angeles (39%)(11).

GERD, which occurs when contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus, is often mistaken for occasional heartburn because frequent, persistent heartburn is the most common symptom of the disease. This can be a misconception, as GERD is a chronic condition and, if left untreated, may potentially lead to more serious medical conditions, such as erosion of the esophagus.

GERD affects a large portion of the Hispanic-American community, but anyone can develop the disease. Risk increases with age, but symptoms of the condition can be alleviated with proper treatment. Consulting a physician and staying updated on new information released regarding the condition are best for determining the right options for keeping symptoms of GERD under control. For more information about Acid Reflux Disease and treatment, please visit http://www.familiassanas.com or call 1-866-271-7278.

About the GERD Awareness Survey

The GERD Awareness survey was conducted by StrategyOne, an applied research consulting firm on behalf of AstraZeneca, as a follow-up to a 2005 survey conducted by Impacto Group LLC. The survey polled 1,000 Hispanic-Americans in the top-five U.S. markets by Hispanic-American population including: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York from April 3, 2008 through April 23, 2008. The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level, was conducted using the field services of Opinion Access and Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI).

About GERD

Approximately 60 million American adults experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms more than twice a week. GERD is characterized by frequent and persistent heartburn, which occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve separating the esophagus and stomach) does not close properly, allowing acid to back up into the esophagus. GERD is chronic and, if left untreated, may potentially lead to more serious medical conditions.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $29.55 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a 13.35 billion dollar healthcare business with 12,200 employees committed to improving people's lives. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information, visit http://www.astrazeneca-us.com.

(1) Cheskin Research, August 2004. Slide 21.

(2) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008 and Five-City Hispanic Survey to Test Awareness of Acid

Reflux. Impacto Group LLC on behalf of AstraZeneca. August 2005. Pg.

8.

(3) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Line 188.

(4) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Line 155.

(5) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Lines 170 and 174.

(6) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Pg 17.

(7) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Line 127.

(8) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Lines 129 -135.

(9) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Line 91.

(10) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Line 108.

(11) GERD Hispanic Awareness Study. Strategy One on behalf of AstraZeneca.

April 2008. Line 155.


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SOURCE AstraZeneca
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