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Healthcare-Associated Infections,and Resistance to the Drugs that Treat Them, Are a Growing Threat to Seniors

Published July 22, 2013

"The Silver Book: Healthcare-Associated Infections" cover.

July 22nd, 2013 – New Silver Book® highlights the value of innovation in reducing this burden

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Alliance for Aging Research released a new fact sheet in its Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation series. The latest addition to The Silver Book series paints a comprehensive picture of the growing burden of healthcare-associated infections, and the value of innovation to help reduce that burden.

The factsheet was released at a call-in event, held in partnership with the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology; and featured medical experts, an economist, a patient representative, and leaders from the partnering organizations. Those speakers included Daniel Perry, President of the Alliance; Susan Peschin, MHS, CEO of the Alliance; Thomas M. File, JR, MD, President of NFID; Victoria Fraser, MD, representing Washington University School of Medicine, IDSA, and SHEA; R. Douglas Scott, II, PhD, an economist at the CDC; and Robyn Grant from the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.

Every year more than 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Around 99,000 people die from their infection and the cost to U.S. hospitals alone is estimated at $28.4 to $45 billion annually. These numbers are only going to grow as the rate of infection rises and more and more develop resistance to antibiotics.

The Silver Book, now in its 8th year, is an almanac of compelling statistics that spotlight the mounting burden of diseases and conditions that disproportionately impact older Americans, and the power of innovation to reduce that burden. “As we continue to see a rise in healthcare-associated infections and resistance to the drugs that treat them, our best defense will be to bolster innovation in medical research to find better ways to treat and prevent these devastating and deadly infections,” said Susan Peschin, MHS, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Aging Research. “This is an issue that is especially critical for older adults who often have compromised immune systems, pay more visits to hospitals and doctor’s offices, and suffer from comorbidities that complicate outcomes. We simply cannot afford to continue on our current path of mounting infections and resistance,” said Lindsay Clarke, JD, Vice President of Health Programs at the Alliance.

The Silver Book has become a trusted resource for policymakers and thoughtleaders interested in pubic policy that helps older Americans live in better health, and offers an important opportunity to revisit a topic that has health leaders gravely concerned but for which there are still too few solutions. The fact sheet on this issue is available both in print and on-line at This factsheet was produced with an unrestricted educational grant from Cubist Pharmaceuticals. The Silver Book is published by the non-profit Alliance for Aging Research and is a unique almanac of more than 2,000 compelling statistics and eye-opening facts and is housed at a newly designed website that is easier to navigate and includes advanced search features with a more streamlined design.


Founded in 1986, the Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of aging Americans through public and private funding of medical research and geriatric education. The Alliance combines the interest of top scientists, public officials, business executives, and foundation leaders to promote a greater national investment in research and new technologies that will prepare our nation for the coming senior boom, and improve the quality of life for today’s older generation.

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