Shire Health International

Journalists Recognised for Excellence in Reporting on One of the Last Medical Taboos

    London (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Winners of the First Embrace Journalism Award for Reporting on Urinary Incontinence and Launch of the Second Embrace Award Announced

    Three journalists from South Africa, Poland and the United States today received the Embrace Award, a global initiative that recognizes accurate, responsible and sensitive reporting on urinary incontinence (UI). The independent Embrace Award judging panel consisting of leading health journalists and incontinence specialists selected the journalists Mandy Collins (True Love magazine, South Africa), Pawel Walewski (Polityka, Poland) and Professor Barry Weiss (American Family Physician, USA) to receive this prestigious award.

    Heightened awareness about UI through articles like those recognized with the Embrace Award today should help to empower women to seek help and talk about their condition with their doctor, partner, friends and family. UI is a medical condition described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a widespread global disease and one of the last medical taboos,(1) which affects one in every three women at some time in their lives.(2,3) UI imposes a significant emotional and physical burden on women who suffer from it,(4) making them afraid to undertake everyday activities such as playing with their children, laughing with their friends or simply leaving their home for fear of an accidental leak.

    There are three main types of UI. The most common in women is stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which involves the accidental leakage of urine during physical activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting or exercising.(4,5) The other types are urge urinary incontinence (UUI), the complaint of involuntary leakage accompanied by or immediately preceded by a sudden compelling desire to pass urine, which may be difficult to defer, and mixed urinary incontinence, the complaint of involuntary leakage due to a combination of SUI and UUI symptoms.(5)

    Embrace Award entries came from 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the USA. The chairman of the Embrace judging panel, Professor Philip Van Kerrebroeck, University Hospital, Maastricht, praised the winning entries: "All three journalists have accurately reported on urinary incontinence in a sensitive way. I hope that those who have read these articles took comfort from knowing that there are many others out there suffering in silence from this debilitating condition and that help is available if they come forward and speak to a healthcare professional."

    Collins was awarded first prize for her article "The unmentionable ailment," which comprehensively explains UI and its effect on women's daily lives in an easily accessible and emotionally engaging way. Walewski received second prize for his article "It is no shame, it is a disease" on the need to overcome the shame and embarrassment associated with UI. Weiss was awarded third prize for evaluating UI treatment options and highlighting the importance of primary care physicians in appropriately treating UI sufferers in his article "Selecting medication for the treatment of urinary incontinence."

    These journalists have won trips to the homelands of some of the world's most renowned authors, including Russia (Leo Tolstoy), the USA (Ernest Hemingway) and Ireland (James Joyce). To view the winners' articles, please visit the Embrace Award website at

    The following journalists were recognized as "Highly Commended": Claudia Flores Zurita from Revista Kena (Mexico) for her article "Female incontinence: A silent reality" and Marie-Catherine Mousseau for her article "Stress urinary incontinence -- Doctors have a huge role to play" in the Irish Medical Times (Ireland).

    The second Embrace Award is now open for entries until June 2006. Journalists from print, online and broadcast media are welcome to submit an entry to the award on all topics relating to the cause, prevalence, management and impact of urinary incontinence. The Embrace Award is jointly sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim.

    For further information about the Embrace Award and to obtain an application form beginning 1 September, please visit or contact the Award Secretariat at the following: email:, tel: +44-207-108-6522 or fax: +44-207-108-6501.

    Notes to Editors:

    Judging Panel

    The judging panel for the Embrace Award consisted of:

    -- Professor Philip Van Kerrebroeck (The Netherlands), University Hospital, Maastricht (Chairman of Judging Panel)

    -- Jeanette Haslam (United Kingdom), physiotherapist, Association for Continence Advice & European Network of Continence Organisations

    -- Dr. Ulrike Hennemann (Germany), Chief Editor and CEO, Medical Tribune

    -- Dr. Thomas Stuttaford (United Kingdom), Medical Correspondent, The Times

    -- Adriana Hammeken (Mexico), Broadcast Journalist, What Women Keep in Secret

    About Eli Lilly and Company

    Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines and information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical needs.

    About Boehringer and Ingelheim

    The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 144 affiliates in 45 countries and approximately 36,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. In 2004, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 8.2 billion euro while spending nearly one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development. For more information please visit

    1. Voelker R, International group seeks to dispel incontinence "taboo", JAMA 1998, Sep 16;280(11):951-953.

    2. Hunskaar S, Lose G, Sykes D, Voss S. The prevalence of urinary incontinence in women in four European countries. BJU Int. 2004 Feb;93(3):324-30.

    3. Minassian VA, Drutz HP, Al-Badr A. Urinary incontinence as a worldwide problem. Int J Gynecol Obstet 2003;82:327-38.

    4. Fultz NH, Burgio K, Diokno AC, et al. Burden of stress urinary incontinence for community-dwelling women. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2003;189:1275-82.

    5. Abrams P, Cardozo L, Fall M, Griffiths D, et al. The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from the standardisation sub-committee of the International Continence Society. Neurourol Urodyn 2002;21(2):167-78.

LONDON, August 25 /PRNewswire/ --

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ots Originaltext: Shire Health International
Im Internet recherchierbar:

Julia Meyer-Kleinmann of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH,  
+49-6132-77-82-71; Christine Van Marter of Eli Lilly and Company,
+1-317-655-2249; Madeleine Weinert of Shire Health International,
+44-20-7108-6522/ Photo:  NewsCom: , PRN Photo

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