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LeAnn Rimes Shares Her Personal Struggle With Psoriasis in Nation's Capital
Date:3/11/2009

Grammy Award-winning singer advocates for research into disease afflicting 7.5 million Americans

WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Grammy Award-winning artist LeAnn Rimes shared her personal story on Capitol Hill today about growing up with psoriasis, and she encouraged lawmakers to support much-needed research and enact legislation to address this complex, autoimmune disease.

"I was first diagnosed with psoriasis at age 2 and throughout my childhood, my condition worsened to the extent that, at one point, I was covered with lesions over 80 percent of my body," Rimes said. "I know what it's like to worry about treatments and to be teased by peers. I want to support efforts to find a cure so others don't have to experience the negative effects of psoriasis."

Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. Psoriasis is a noncontagious, chronic, inflammatory, painful, disfiguring and disabling disease for which there is no cure.

"As I entered the public spotlight, I went to great lengths to hide my psoriasis," she explained. "Although the physical pain of living with psoriasis has been difficult at times, it has been much more of an emotional struggle. The physical pain doesn't even compare to the pain of embarrassment and fear that someone is going to think you're not a normal person."

In addition to the skin condition, psoriasis frequently occurs with a range of other health concerns including Crohn's disease, diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Rimes was accompanied on the Hill by 14-year-old Alyssa Krafsur, from El Paso, Texas. Krafsur struggles with severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, which occurs in up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis and causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the jo
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SOURCE National Psoriasis Foundation
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