Support Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month

    • Anonymous
      April 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm

      Support Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month
      Cosponsor H.Res.258

      Current Cosponsors: Allen (D-ME), Berman (D-CA), Blumenauer (D-OR), Boswell (D-IA), Capps (D-CA), DeLauro (D-CT), Doggett (D-TX), Grijalva (D-AZ), Hinchey (D-NY), Holden (D-PA), Honda (D-CA), Kennedy (D-RI), Kilpatrick (D-MI), Knollenberg (R-MI), Latham (R-IA), Representative Sander M. Levin (D-MI), Markey (D-MA), Marshall (D-GA), McCotter (R-MI), McDermott (D-WA), Mitchell (D-AZ), Moran (D-VA) P. Murphy (D-PA), Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Ramstad (R-MN), Schakowsky (D-IL), Sires (D-NJ), Souder (R-IN), Upton (R-MI), Walberg (R-MI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Waxman (D-CA), J. Wilson (R-SC), Wynn (D-MD)

      April 15, 2008

      Dear Colleague:

      I urge you to join me and 34 additional cosponsors in supporting H.Res.258, a resolution expressing the Sense of the House that there should be established a National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness month. Similar legislation naming May as National Autoimmune Disease Awareness month has been passed on the Senate side (S.Res.116). In order to pass this resolution before May, I ask that you sign-on as soon as possible.

      Autoimmune diseases are chronic, disabling conditions in which underlying defects in the immune system lead the body to attack its own organs and tissues. They can affect any part of the body, including the blood, blood vessels, muscles, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine glands, and multiple-organ systems and can be life-threatening. Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type I diabetes, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, autoimmune hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves’ disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and myositis.

      The NIH estimates that autoimmune diseases afflict up to 23.5 million people in the United States, 75% of which are women. Additionally, prevalence levels are rising.

      Unfortunately, though, there has not been enough improvement in our knowledge about the causes of and treatment for these chronic, disabling conditions. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the U.S. is behind other countries in research into immune system self-recognition, the cause of autoimmune diseases. Further, diagnostic tests for autoimmune diseases are not standardized, making these diseases very difficult to diagnose. Because diagnosis of autoimmune diseases is difficult and lengthy, treatment is often delayed, resulting in irreparable organ damage and unnecessary suffering.

      There is a clear need for more public education about autoimmune diseases. I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important resolution in support of National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month. This resolution also supports the goal of increasing Federal funding for aggressive research to learn the root causes of autoimmune diseases, as well as the best diagnostic methods and treatments for people with autoimmune diseases.

      To sign on as a cosponsor of H.Res.258, or if you have any questions, please contact Karen Agostisi in my office at (202) 225-3335 or

      Steve Israel
      Member of Congress