Belushi, Savient observe Gout Awareness Day

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Today is Gout Awareness Day, and Jim Belushi is speaking out about his experiences with the disease.

The actor, who has had the rheumatic disease for around 15 years, chaired a roundtable with three other patients talking about living with the disease. The talk was posted to patient community site CreakyJoints, one of several supported by the non-profit Global Healthy Living Foundation. The presentation was supported by Krystexxa maker Savient Pharmaceuticals.

The informational effort includes a rheumatologist locator on the website, and visitors are encouraged to Tweet their experiences with gout using the #notjustgout hashtag (at press time, it hadn't gotten much traction).  

The Centers for Disease Control estimates around 3 million adults had the condition as of 2005. More men than women experience gout and African American men are twice as likely as white men to have the condition, which has three general stages: asymptomatic, in which monosodium urate crystals build up in tissue; acute flares, which the CDC says can be “mild or excruciating”; and chronic arthritis. A metabolic disorder sets the crystal buildup in motion, and the disease is closely associated with an increased kidney stone risk.

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