SOURCE: The U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association

The U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association

November 21, 2011 15:34 ET

U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association Highlights New Era of HAE Through Public Service Announcement Campaign "Looking at HAE from the Outside In"

PSA Empowers Patients Through the Knowledge That There Is a New Era for HAE Treatment and Patients Now Have a Choice

HONOLULU, HI--(Marketwire - Nov 21, 2011) - Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a very rare and potentially life-threatening genetic condition that occurs in about 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people. HAE attacks can cause painful, debilitating, and disfiguring swelling attacks that can make its victims virtually unrecognizable. Until recently, anabolic steroids -- which can cause unwanted short- and long-term side effects -- were the only treatment choice available. In the new "Looking at HAE from the Outside In" Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign, the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA) is empowering patients through the knowledge that there is a new era for HAE treatment and patients now have a choice.

For several decades, anabolic steroids were the only FDA-approved treatment for HAE. While these medicines have helped patients manage their symptoms, they are not considered suitable for children, and many patients -- especially women -- have expressed concerns about steroid-related side effects such as weight gain, facial hair growth, mood changes, and menstrual irregularities. In addition, the medical literature indicates that androgens may, among other things, cause liver toxicity and elevated cholesterol levels, which may be associated with increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Anthony J. Castaldo, President of the HAE Association, stated, "This PSA provides our patient community with important information that can help guide the selection of a treatment that best suits their needs and enables them to lead a normal life."

The PSA brings the symptoms of HAE to life in a way never before seen. Using cutting-edge special effects technology, the viewer sees the bodies of HAE patients morph from swollen to normal, amplifying what it feels like to have an HAE attack using authentic patient words and images. It also brings to life the potential risks associated with anabolic steroids. The PSA concept was developed and brought to life by creative agency WCG, in collaboration with director Ron Jacobs and visionary special effects house MAKE.

The PSA campaign will run on general news, sports, women's and men's, health, and rare disease Web sites and encourage people to watch the PSA and learn more at the HAEA's Web site,

This campaign is the latest in the HAEA's efforts to promote education and empowerment as the cornerstones of broader awareness of HAE and improved patient outcomes. The HAEA provides resources and programs that help patients and their families gain an understanding of the available therapeutic options, find the right physician and navigate the health care system, gain skills to make physician visits more productive, as well as provide insights into reimbursement so that cost becomes a non-factor in the selection of a therapeutic approach.

About Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)
Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a very rare and potentially life-threatening genetic condition that occurs in about 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people. HAE symptoms include episodes of edema (swelling) in various body parts including the hands, feet, face, abdomen, and airway. In addition, patients often have bouts of excruciating abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting that is caused by swelling in the intestinal wall. Airway swelling is particularly dangerous and can lead to death by asphyxiation. HAE patients have a defect in the gene that controls a blood protein called C1-Inhibitor. Because defective C1-Inhibitor does not adequately perform its regulatory function, a biochemical imbalance can occur and produce unwanted peptides that induce the capillaries to release fluids into surrounding tissue, thereby causing edema.

About the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA)
Founded and staffed by HAE patients and HAE patient caregivers, the HAEA is a non-profit patient advocacy organization dedicated to serving persons with angioedema resulting from C1-Inhibitor deficiency. The Association provides HAE patients and their families with a support network and a wide range of services including physician referrals and individualized patient support. The HAEA's goal is to increase awareness of Hereditary Angioedema by providing patients and physicians with authoritative and readily accessible information. The HAEA is committed to advancing and conducting clinical research designed to improve the lives of HAE patients and ultimately find a cure. To learn more about the HAEA or join the Association, visit, email or call 866-798-5598.

Contact Information