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New Resource Focuses on the Growing Burden of Osteoporosis

Published August 4, 2008

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New Resource Focuses on the Growing Burden of Osteoporosis and the Value of Medical Innovation

August 4th, 2008, Washington, DC – Today the Alliance for Aging Research, in partnership with the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), released a new volume of The Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation. The latest addition to The Silver Book series focuses on the most prevalent bone disease in the U.S.—osteoporosis. The volume was released at a Capitol Hill briefing which featured medical and economic experts and patients. In addition, Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Michael Burgess (R-TX), champions of legislation to promote prevention and testing for the disease, supported the briefing.

The Silver Book is published by the non-profit Alliance for Aging Research drawing upon over 400 independent studies and reports on chronic disease and prospects for medical innovations to mitigate the burden. The Silver Book currently catalogues some 1,500 statistics that outline a coming “Silver Tsunami” with the aging U.S. population.

As a driving force behind the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis and most recently the Summit for a National Action Plan for Bone Health, NOF is a natural partner for the release of this volume of The Silver Book. NOF is the leading independent organization solely dedicated to osteoporosis and bone health and alerts the public and health care professionals about the importance of bone health and the seriousness of osteoporosis and fractures.

Specific insights into osteoporosis in the latest volume include the following:

  • Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans over the age of 50, and close to 34 million more have low bone mass which increases their risk for the disease.
  • Half of all women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime.
  • Fractures resulting from osteoporosis can cost individuals more than $81,000 during their lifetime, totaling some $19 billion a year for Americans.
  • Osteoporosis is estimated to cost the nation $25.3 billion annually by 2025 unless we find better ways to prevent and treat the disease.

    Publication of The Silver Book: Osteoporosis is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis.

    “We’ve made a lot of progress in developing better ways to diagnose and treat the disease, and we need to continue to educate people of all ages about osteoporosis because prevention and early intervention are so important,” said Rep. Berkley, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1998.

    “Osteoporosis is a serious and silent disease that affects millions of people who risk fractures that can lead to loss of independence and even death,” said Leo Schargorodski, executive director of NOF. “We are pleased to partner with the Alliance on The Silver Book and to shine a light on the growing burden of this disease.”

    “Two and a half years from now, the Baby Boom generation starts to become the largest Medicare generation in history,” explained Daniel Perry, executive director of the Alliance. “Our best defense against the Silver Tsunami is to play to America’s strengths in scientific innovation and technological ingenuity. We hope that The Silver Book will become the ‘go-to’ resource for those who develop health policy.”

    To encourage national policies to promote investments in innovation, the Alliance for Aging Research launched The Silver Book: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation in 2006. The initial volume focused on cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological diseases and has quickly become a trusted resource for health policy practitioners. A second volume on vision loss was released in September 2007 in partnership with the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research.

    All of the data are cited with original sources and available online. The online version is a searchable database that is continuously updated as new information is published and that allows users to submit data. Users can also subscribe to the RSS feed.

    The new volume on osteoporosis and the other volumes may be accessed online at

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.

Established in 1984, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization solely dedicated to osteoporosis and bone health. Our mission is to prevent osteoporosis and related fractures, to promote lifelong bone health, to help improve the lives of those affected by osteoporosis, and to find a cure through programs of awareness, advocacy, public and health professional education and research. For more information on osteoporosis and bone health, contact NOF online at or by telephone (800) 223-9994.

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