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American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for February 2005 (second issue)

NOTE: This release was updated on Feb. 15.

ATTENTION: The ATS news tip posted on Friday, February 11th, 2005 and embargoed for 6 a.m. on February 15th, 2005 mistakenly contained a reference to a community-acquired pneumonia statement. This statement should not have been included. Please disregard this piece of the press release.

Please contact Suzy Martin by phone at (212) 315-8631 or via e-mail at smartin@thoracic.org with questions.

MONTELUKAST SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES ASTHMA EXACERBATIONS IN YOUNG CHILDREN

Montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, significantly decreased the rate of exacerbations and lengthened the time between exacerbations in 2- to 5-year-old asthma patients who suffered from intermittent symptoms. The researchers pointed out that montelukast significantly reduced by almost 32 percent the rate of exacerbations over 12 months, as compared with results from patients on placebo. The average rate of exacerbation episodes was 1.60 episodes per patient per year, compared with 2.34 for placebo. (Leukotrienes are biologically active compounds that function as chemical mediators. They have vasoactive properties that help regulate allergic and inflammatory reactions. Medical antagonists are designed to counteract specific functions.) According to the authors, asthma usually begins and has its greatest prevalence in children younger than 5 years.

This age group often has intermittent symptoms, which include long assymptomatic periods interrupted by episodes of asthma generally in association with the common cold. Viral infections, predominately with rhinovirus, account for up to 85 percent of childhood asthma exacerbations and daily symptoms. The investigators claim that there are usually minimal symptoms between episodes. The 1-year study directed at exacerbation control was conducted at 68 sites in 23 countries. It involved 278 children
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Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
ccarlomagno@thoracic.org
212-315-6442
American Thoracic Society
15-Feb-2005


Page: 1 2

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