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A Growing Concern

Exercising helps relieve back pain and quickens recovery. Photo: Getty Images

Every seven seconds, a Baby Boomer turns 60, Assistant U.S. Secretary for Aging Josefi na Carbonell said recently when she testifi ed before the U.S. Senate. Her agency, the U.S. Administration on Aging, is seeking $1.268 billion in federal funding in fi scal year 2008 -- the same level as 2007 -- for programs to help seniors and their caregivers.

People age 65 and older make up 12.4% of the U.S. population, and that fi gure is expected to grow to 20% by 2030. The number of older Americans increased by almost 1 million between 2003 and 2005, hitting 36.8 million, the agency's fi gures show. In Florida, the percentage of residents 65 and older is 16.8%, or about 3 million people.


The anti-aging industry has taken a hit recently with the arrest of four top executives at an Orlando pharmacy that specializes in compounding customized medications. Signature Pharmacy's CEO, COO, head compounding pharmacist and director of business development were all charged in February in a New York-based probe that names their company and several others around Florida as part of a ring of illegal steroid distribution.

The news comes just as 3,500 physicians, health practitioners and scientists are expected to attend the 15th Annual International Congress on Anti- Aging Medicine and Regenerative Biomedical Technologies this month at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando.

One of the hot topics at this year's conference is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which involves boosting the body's decreasing supply of hormones with a synthetic prescription tailored to fi t the individual. Other topics on the program: Weight management, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, immune optimization and aesthetic medicine, says Catherine Cebula of the Chicagobased American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

Artwork: Kraig Scarbinsky


A Pain in the Back

? Problems occur most often between ages 30 and 50 because of aging and a sedentary lifestyle with bursts of physical activity.

? It is the most common cause of job-related disability.

? It is the second-mostcommon neurological ailment in the U.S. after the headache.

? Lower back pain costs Americans a combined $50 billion-plus a year in treatment.

? It affects four of every five people at some time in life.

? Acute pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Chronic form persists for more than three months.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health

Back Breakthrough

Dr. Luis E. Crespo -- whose Crespo & Associates in Tampa was one of the fi rst facilities in the country to specialize in non-invasive therapy for neck and back pain -- has opened a National Spine Centers in Coral Gables. The center will be dedicated to non-surgical treatment.