Charity Calls On The UK To Pucker Up 4 PH, Achieve World Fame & Help Save Lives!!
In a blatant and unashamedly brazen attempt to use our fascination of all things celebrity and our desire to achieve 15 minutes of fame to try to boost awareness of an incurable lung condition that new research shows only 3% of the UK* have heard of, patient support charity the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK has launched a local, national and international campaign to get more of us to be PH aware.
Why This Awareness Campaign Is So Important
Due to lack of awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension (PH), for every patient in the UK that’s been correctly diagnosed with this life threatening and incurable condition there is one that is currently going through the bewildering diagnostic process, which on average can take 2 – 3 years. Although PH is incurable, with correct treatment and a faster diagnosis almost two thirds of patients will survive longer than 5 years, however if not treated, approximately half will die within two years.
Who The UK Would Most Like To Pucker Up With
In a poll commissioned by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK and conducted by ICM with a representative sample of 4000 people across the UK, Cheryl Cole & Johnny Depp topped the list of 50 celebrities** that the public would most like to pucker up with. (Full list) Interestingly, Her Majesty the Queen came in at joint 26th on the guys list ahead of Rihanna (Joint 29th) Britney Spears (33rd) & Katie Price/Jordan (34th). For the ladies, ever-green performer Cliff Richard came in at number 17 way ahead of the likes of movie heart throbs Harrison Ford (Joint 30th) and Tom Cruise (Joint 40th).
PHA-UK Campaign manager, Paul Pennington who is co-ordinating the initiative said, “This campaign follows the example of Comic Relief in using something light hearted to raise awareness of serious issues. As Lenny Henry & Co has the Red Nose as an icon, we’ve adopted Blue Lips or cyanosis as it's medically termed, which can signify the presence of PH, as a simple and striking logo to help gain recognition for this disease that far too few people have heard of.”
The Quest Goes Global!!
PH patient support groups across the World*** are joining forces with PHA-UK to try and find someone who’ll ‘lend their lips’ freely to replace the charity’s current blue lip print logo, and become part of a 21 country health education and media blitz culminating in a Guinness World Record attempt in 2010.
Paul Pennington from PHA-UK stated, “If you come from that bit of Britain or indeed the World that hasn’t got talent and you’re more Y than X factor, here’s a perfect opportunity to achieve world fame without having to be a great performer…all you need is lips, a camera to take a picture of your puckering pose and the ability to upload your photo onto the www.puckerup4ph.com website.”
He added “Between the 6th of July and the midnight on the 31st of August 2009 we want as many people as possible to post pictures on www.puckerup4ph.com a cross section of people will be selected by the judging panel to go forward into an online vote from the 7th of September with the lips of 2010 announced during PH Awareness Week the 20th –26th of September 2009.”
Pennington concluded, ”There isn’t a multi-million pound recording contract at the end of this campaign to find the lips of 2010, but there is the opportunity to achieve something that is priceless in helping to save lives and make people who live with Pulmonary Hypertension feel less isolated”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
* ICM interviewed a random sample of 4076 adults aged 18+ via online between 12th – 28th June 2009. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk
**Details of the celebrities the UK would most like to pucker up with must be credited to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK and include the campaign website www.puckerup4ph.com
***The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (UK) (charity number 1082613) provides support, understanding and information for everyone whose life is touched by Pulmonary Hypertension. In the autumn of 2009, the charity celebrates a decade of achievement for people with PH including being the only patient support group to stop the Governments Drugs Watchdog NICE removing life saving therapies from Doctor’s armoury of treatments for this fastest growing area of medicine. To find out more about PHA-UK: visit www.phassociation.uk.com
****PH patient groups in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, South East Asia South & North America, Italy, Germany and Israel are directly involved in the 2009 initiative.
PULMONARY HYPERTENSION (PH) BACKGROUNDER
- PH is a disease where the blood pressure in the arteries in the lungs elevates putting pressure on the heart and reducing the amount of oxygen that is able to reach the tissues of the body causing breathlessness and exhaustion. This can significantly impact the sufferer’s ability to lead a normal life. PH can often lead to heart failure and can be a standalone condition or associated with other diseases.
- PH is often mistakenly diagnosed due to its similarities to asthma. PHA-UK research shows the average time for PH to be correctly diagnosed across the UK is two years with 1 in 5 patients having to wait significantly longer.
- With correct treatment and a faster diagnosis almost two thirds of PH patients will survive longer than 5 years, however if not treated, approximately half of PH patients die within two years.
- PH affects people of all ages including young children. It is twice as common in women as men and the commonest age at presentation is 40 - 50 years old.
- There are currently approximately 4,000 diagnosed PH sufferers across the UK and it’s estimated that there are a further 4,000 who are undiagnosed.
- People with PH experience a range of symptoms, the most common of which are breathlessness, dizziness, fainting, chest pain, palpitations and increased lethargy. These symptoms are described as "non-specific" which means it is quite difficult to diagnose.
- There are 8 PH specialist centres in the UK, (4 in London, Great Ormond Street, Hammersmith, Royal Brompton, Royal Free with the remainder situated in Glasgow, Sheffield, Newcastle and Cambridgeshire) which provide expert diagnosis, treatment and management for PH patients.
- Although there is no cure, there are effective and relatively new treatments that can help sufferers if they are diagnosed early in the disease progression.
The global puckerup4ph campaign has received unrestricted health educational grant funding from GlaxoSmithKline, Actelion, Bayer Schering Pharma, Pfizer and United Therapeutics.