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As Venus Williams Bows Out of U.S. Open, Little-Known Disease Takes Center Court

Posted 1 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1 – Venus Williams' surprising withdrawal from the U.S. Open on Wednesday has shifted the spotlight from the tennis star's daunting serve to her diagnosis with a little-known disease known as Sjogren's syndrome. Williams, 31, said the disease has diminished her energy level and caused joint pain, curtailing her ability to continue in the tournament. More than 4 million Americans have the chronic autoimmune disease, which also causes dry mouth and dry eyes. Ninety percent of those with the disease are women. Sjogren's syndrome "targets and destroys over time the exocrine glands responsible for tear production and saliva – and is characterized by dryness of the mouth and eyes," said Dr. Michael Belmont, an associate professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at NYU Langone Medical Center and medical director for Hospital for Joint Diseases. Less commonly, it ... Read more

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