2006-05-22

New Evidence Validates Global Prevalence and Severity of Abdominal Cramping and Pain


Ingelheim, Germany (ots/PRNewswire) -

- For Healthcare Professional and Consumer Journalists

- Not for Distribution to USA Media

- Survey Shows 25% of World's Population Suffer From Common andDistressing Ailment That can be Effectively Treated

New data presented at the premier international gastroenterologycongress Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2006 today, show that theprevalence and severity of abdominal cramping, pain and discomforthave been globally underestimated. Insights from a globalepidemiological study into this area show that one in four peoplearound the world suffer from this troublesome, and sometimesdebilitating, ailment.1 New evidence from the market research alsohelps to define this ailment and the symptoms associated with it,paving the way for effective and specific treatment and lifestylechanges.

'These new results confirm abdominal cramping, pain and discomfortis suffered by people all over the world. We are now getting a clearcountry-by-country indication of how common and distressing thisailment and its symptoms are in the general population,' stated DrRichard Locke of the Mayo Clinic.

Until now, the nature of the symptoms associated with abdominalcramping have not been defined systematically, creating a great dealof confusion and misunderstanding among sufferers. In addition toprevalence, the study results show how disruptive this ailment andthe symptoms associated with it can be for a sufferer. Two thirds ofall sufferers indicated they experience sudden abdominal attacks thatbegin without warning.1 On average, 34.5% of these sufferersexperience at least one fierce attack every week.[1]

While abdominal cramping and pain is the central symptomassociated with these attacks, it is often accompanied by additionaldigestive symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, bloating andflatulence.

'For years I have been trying to find a way to explain the painand discomfort I experience during a stomach attack. They usuallycome on without any warning, leaving me unable to concentrate onanything expect the pain. These attacks are especially embarrassingwhen I am at work in a meeting with colleagues as it literally stopsme from functioning,' said Sarah Lockyer.

According to Dr Locke, 'Sufferers do not like talking about thetroublesome symptoms that accompany abdominal cramping, pain anddiscomfort. They often feel like they are the only ones experiencingthese symptoms, or in some cases, that they have caused the attacksby eating the wrong foods or taking on too much stress.'

Dr Locke continued, 'This ailment is characterised as a functionalgastrointestinal disorder, which means that the abdomen appears to benormal but does not function properly. The symptoms need to beproactively managed and treated to improve the sufferer's quality oflife.'

Abdominal cramping, pain and discomfort can be exacerbated by avariety of factors, including: stress, eating and drinking habits,organic reasons such as food intolerances, stimulating substancessuch as coffee, or unhealthy lifestyle. While lifestyle changes canhelp a sufferer manage the symptoms associated with this ailment, onaverage 81.3% of sufferers take medication.1 As perceived bysufferers, medication shortens the duration of episodesconsiderably.1

'The results of these studies show the onset and severity ofsymptoms associated with this ailment are similar for sufferers allover the world. Lifestyle changes and treatments, such asantispasmodics, can help alleviate symptoms and shorten the durationof abdominal attacks,' said Professor Eamonn Quigley of theAlimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at the National University of Ireland.

Buscopan(R) is the leading global over the counter antispasmodicbrand that provides reliable relief from the pain and discomfort dueto abdominal cramps. The proven Buscopan(R) formula gently relaxesthe cramped muscles of the digestive tract, and therefore relievesthe spasms that cause abdominal pain.

Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Health Care

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leadingpharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, itoperates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and almost37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-ownedcompany has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturingand marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human andveterinary medicine.

In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 9.5 billion eurowhile spending almost one fifth of net sales in its largest businesssegment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

The Consumer Health Care business is one of the core businesses ofthe Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation and strives to serve customersworldwide with top-quality pharmaceuticals for self-medication and iswidely known for its products such as: Pharmaton(R), Dulcolax(R),Bisolvon(R), Mucosolvan(R), Buscopan(R), Antistax(R) andMucoangin(R).

Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Healthcare is ranked the 8th largestsupplier of self-medication products.

For more information please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.com.

Notes to Editors

The epidemiology study was completed in two stages. First acommunity survey was completed in over 9,000 people in 9 countries.Then about 200 sufferers in eight countries participated in morein-depth interviews. The second phase was done in order to obtaininsights into the nature of abdominal complaints, the characteristicsin abdominal attacks and the role of drug therapy in dealing withthese symptoms.

References

1. Tygat GNJ, Paulo LG, Mueller-Lissner S, et al. The communityprevalence of abdominal pain and cramps: A multi-national survey.Digestive Disease Week. 2006 Poster

ots Originaltext: Boehringer IngelheimIm Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Contact:For further information, please contact: Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Ute E Schmidt, Corporate Division Communications, Phone: +49-613-277-97296, Fax: +49-613-277-6601. Shire Health International,Sara Singer, Project Director, Phone: +44-(0)20-7108-6521, Fax: +44-(0)20-7108-6501, sara.singer@shirehealthinternational.com

Boehringer Ingelheim

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