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For Immediate Release                                  Contact:  Sara Conley, 312-558-1770
April 14, 2010                                                                 media@acaai.org

Bariatric Surgery Patients Breathe Easier, Use 50 Percent Fewer Prescriptions 

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Another benefit of rapid weight loss after bariatric surgery is a 50 percent reduction in use of prescription breathing medications, according to a study published this month in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“Not only do patients breathe easier, less money is spent on prescription health care costs,” said Naveen Sikka, MD, lead author and ACAAI member. “Better quality of life, possible reduction of chronic breathing problems, including asthma, and lower health care costs significantly benefit patients and help to reduce the national health care crisis.”

The retrospective study reviewed health records of 320 bariatric surgery patients at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, for one year before and after the procedure.  Prescription medication fill rates were determined from patient prescription claims.  A total of 324 prescriptions were filled before surgery as compared with 154 after surgery.

“Some obese patients develop asthma, while others are treated for breathing problems with medications typically used for asthma,” said Andrew Weinstein, MD, ACAAI Asthma and Respiratory Disease Committee vice-chair.  “The results of this study bring us closer to determining if weight loss can improve asthma long-term.”

Consumers and patients can take a simple online test to gauge their asthma symptoms and obtain a personalized plan on how to get relief at www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org. 

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

To learn more about allergies and asthma and to find an allergist, visit www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org  

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