NO. R-252. JOINT RESOLUTION DESIGNATING MAY 2000 AS OSTEOPOROSIS AWARENESS MONTH.
Offered by: Senator Munt of Chittenden County.
Whereas, osteoporosis, the thinning and weakening of the bone with age, is a major public health threat to Vermonters, and
Whereas, osteoporosis affects an estimated 17,040 Vermont women and 4,386 Vermont men over age 50, plus an additional 3l,685 Vermont women and 6,579 Vermont men who have low bone mass, placing them at higher risk for developing osteoporosis, and
Whereas, the major consequence of osteoporosis are fractures, most often of the hip, vertebrae, and wrist, which lead to chronic pain, disfigurement, reduced mobility, impaired function, loss of independence, and increased overall mortality, and
Whereas, one in three women and one in eight men age 50 or older, totaling 36,752 Vermonters will break a bone during their lifetime due to osteoporosis, and
Whereas, hip fractures, one of the most common osteoporosis-related fractures, are the most serious and costly fractures, and
Whereas, 50 percent of persons who sustain hip fractures become permanently disabled, and over 20 percent require long-term care, and
Whereas, the annual national health care costs for hip fractures is $13.8 billion, and
Whereas, 90 percent of hip fractures in women, and 80 percent of hip fractures in men, are due to osteoporosis, and
Whereas, due to the aging of the population, and Vermont's slightly higher than national average incidence of osteoporosis, if this affliction is not medically treated, there will be increasing health care costs and a decreased quality of life for thousands of Vermonters, and
Whereas, osteoporosis is a silent disease, as it often goes unrecognized for years, until one or more fractures have occurred, and
Whereas, osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of aging, and
Whereas, while everyone loses bone with age, bone mass can be maximized and bone loss can be minimized so that osteoporosis does not occur, and
Whereas, osteoporosis is thought of as a problem for the elderly, but the problem of low bone mass actually begins early in life, and
Whereas, a healthy lifestyle in childhood and adolescence can set the stage for optimum bone mass throughout life, and
Whereas, although proven methods are available to both prevent bone loss and treat established osteoporosis, most persons are unaware of their risk of developing osteoporosis and the steps to prevent, detect and treat this ailment, and
Whereas, sadly too many Vermonters do not choose a lifestyle leading to healthy bones, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly designates May 2000 as Osteoporosis Awareness Month, and strongly supports the efforts of the Vermont Osteoporosis Taskforce, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and regional osteoporosis programs to educate Vermonters on the risks related to this disease, and be it further
Resolved: That the General Assembly encourages the Vermont Department of Health's efforts to promote healthy lifestyles, leading to prevention of osteoporosis, including good nutrition, increased physical activity, prevention of smoking, and avoidance of excessive use of alcohol, and be it further
Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Dr. Edward Lieb at the Fletcher Allen Medical Center.