Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare and potentially life-threatening inherited genetic disorder that causes edema (swelling) of the hands, feet, face, airways, and gastrointestinal tract. In HAE, patients have one or more genetic mutations, resulting in a variety of effects on the body, including impacting the body’s ability to regulate blood-based systems involved in disease fighting, inflammatory response, and coagulation. Patients with HAE usually begin experiencing edema between ages 7 and 13 and have acute attacks of symptoms 6-11 times a year on average.
As the condition is very rare, affecting 1 in 10,000 to 50,000 people, it is often under- or mis-diagnosed. Until recently, there were no treatments available to specifically treat HAE. A new report profiles the treatment gains that have been made over the last decade, as the underlying science behind HAE-induced inflammation has become clearer.