AstraZeneca Partners with Actor and Author Tony Hale to Build Awareness of Eosinophilic Asthma and How Not All Asthma is the Same

Tony Hale opens up about his personal experiences to help educate
other asthma sufferers on the importance of personalized care

AstraZeneca is partnering with Tony Hale, two-time Emmy-winning actor and author, to share his lifelong journey as an asthma sufferer, in an effort to help others understand the importance of learning what’s driving their asthma.

Widely known for his roles in HBO’s Veep, Fox/Netflix’s Arrested Development, Walt Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4, and Hulu’s upcoming series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Tony is one of approximately 25 million people in the United States living with asthma, a respiratory disease that is associated with symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.1,2

Tony Hale said: “I understand all too well the physical and emotional toll asthma may take on everyday life and the havoc it can wreak if left uncontrolled. I wish I knew sooner that not all asthma is the same and that a simple blood test could help determine if you have a specific type of asthma. That’s why I am passionate about educating others on working with a doctor to understand if a more personalized approach might be beneficial depending on the type of asthma at play.”

Most people know that asthma can be triggered by factors outside the body, like poor air quality and allergic triggers,3 but it can also be caused by something inside of the body – an elevated number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell.4 This type of asthma is called eosinophilic asthma, or e-asthma, and nearly 7 out of 10 adults with asthma have it.5* A high eosinophilic number has been associated with poor asthma control and more asthma attacks.6,7

Mina Makar, Senior Vice President, AstraZeneca US Respiratory and Immunology, said: “Now more than ever, we need to prioritize sharing the right information and resources to help people best manage respiratory conditions such as asthma. By connecting directly with people like Tony, we are able to quickly get the word out about the importance of learning what can be driving an individual’s asthma symptoms because it’s not the same for everyone and knowing the cause can better help target the care patients receive.”  

Signs that someone could have eosinophilic asthma include using a rescue inhaler often to control asthma symptoms, waking up at night due to asthma symptoms, taking oral steroids like prednisone for asthma, and having had asthma attacks that required emergency care.7-9

Purvi Parikh, MD, allergist and immunologist with NYU Langone Health, said: “Asthma doesn’t have to be so disruptive – there are ways to manage it, and it all starts with a conversation. Many people don’t realize that a simple blood test can help them learn more about their disease and whether eosinophils could be at the root of their bothersome asthma symptoms.”

Visit www.easthma.com to sign up for a free blood test and learn more information about eosinophilic asthma.

*Although not defined by clinical guidelines, eosinophilic asthma was considered an eosinophil count of 150 cells/μL or more for this CDC survey analysis.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Eosinophilic Asthma
Asthma can be triggered by factors outside the body, like poor air quality and allergic triggers, but it can also be contributed to by an elevation of a type of white blood cell inside the body called the eosinophil.3,4 If asthma sometimes requires oral steroids or emergency care, it may not be asthma as usual – it may be eosinophilic asthma.6-9 Nearly 70% of asthma can be caused by an elevated number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, which can become activated in response to common triggers like pollen, dust, dander, mold and viruses.3-5* When activated, eosinophils can enter the lungs and airways and cause inflammation.4,10,11 A high eosinophilic number has been associated with poor asthma control, more asthma attacks, and ultimately, more lung damage. 6,7,10 A simple blood test can help diagnose eosinophilic asthma.12

*Although not defined by clinical guidelines, eosinophilic asthma was considered an eosinophil count of 150 cells/μL or more for this CDC survey analysis.

To learn more about eosinophilic asthma and to sign up for a free blood test, visit www.easthma.com.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/NYSE: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism, and Respiratory and Immunology. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.

References

1.     Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Asthma. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/most_recent_national_asthma_data.htm. Accessed July 1, 2020.

2.     Price D, Fletcher M, van der Molen T. Asthma control and management in 8,000 European patients: the REcognise Asthma and LInk to Symptoms and Experience (REALISE) survey. NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2014;24:14009

3.     Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma Triggers. Available at: https://www.aafa.org/asthma-triggers-causes/. Accessed July 17, 2020.

4.     de Groot JC, Ten Brinke A, Bel EHD. Management of the patient with eosinophilic asthma: a new era begins. ERJ Open Res. 2015;1(1):00024-2015

5.     Tran TN, Zeiger RS, Peters SP, et al. Overlap of atopic, eosinophilic, and TH2-high asthma phenotypes in a general population with current asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016;116(1):37-42.

6.     de Groot JC, Storm H, Amelink M, et al. Clinical profile of patients with adult-onset eosinophilic asthma. ERJ Open Res. 2016;2(2):00100-2015.

7.     Wenzel S. Severe Asthma in Adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005;172(2):149-160.

8.     Chung KF, Wenzel SE, Brozek JL, et al. International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma. Eur Respir J. 2014;43(2):343-373.

9.     Global Initiative for Asthma. Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention 2020. Available at: https://ginasthma.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GINA-2020-full-report_-final-_wms.pdf. Accessed July 17, 2020.

10.  Trivedi SG, Lloyd CM. Eosinophils in the pathogenesis of allergic airways disease. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007;64(10):1269-1289.

11.  Walford HH, Doherty TA. Diagnosis and management of eosinophilic asthma: a US perspective. J Asthma Allergy. 2014;7:53-65.

12.  Tefferi A, Hanson CA, Inwards DJ. How to Interpret and Pursue an Abnormal Complete Blood Cell Count in Adults. Mayo Clin Proc. 2005;80(7):923-936.


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