Free Consumer Hotline Responds to New Surgeon General’s Report Calling for Bone...

Free Consumer Hotline Responds to New Surgeon General’s Report Calling for Bone Health Awareness and Education

Callers to 1-866-MY CALCIUM Can Connect With Live Healthcare Professionals for Helpful Information on Report, Bone Health and Calcium Deficiency


Untitled Document

Pittsburgh, PA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 14, 2004–Today’s release
of Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General underscores
the critical role public education will play in eradicating a health threat
that affects nearly 44 million people and contributes to 1.5 million bone fractures
each year. To help the Surgeon General achieve his goal of providing better
information, especially for those at risk, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare,
maker of the two most doctor-recommended calcium supplements, Os-Cal(R) and
TUMS(R), is sponsoring a free consumer-education hotline.

On Friday, October 15, 2004, Americans can call 1-866-MY-CALCIUM from 8 a.m.
to 8 p.m. (EDT) to speak with live healthcare professionals who can dispense
vital information about the Surgeon General’s report, bone health and calcium
deficiency, a leading cause of osteoporosis.  Callers can also request
educational literature, including a brief summary of the Surgeon General’s
report, and free Os-Cal and TUMS samples.*

A comprehensive library of recorded information, accessible through automated
touch-tone menus, will continue to be available to hotline callers after October

“Over the past several decades, scientists have learned a significant
amount about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bone disease,”
said U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, in the preface
to the new report.  “Our next and most critical step is to transfer
this knowledge from the research laboratories to the general population.”

The consumer hotline is the first initiative in a multi-year education, awareness
and prevention program sponsored by Os-Cal and TUMS called Take CaRE America
(Take “Calcium Regularly, Every Day”). The campaign will also include
a comprehensive on-line resource,, to help Americans
determine how much calcium is right for them, calculate their daily calcium
intake, learn how to prevent and treat osteoporosis and find answers to commonly
asked questions.

In addition, Take “CaRE” America activities planned throughout the
remainder of 2004 and 2005 will encourage Americans to “know their numbers”
– height, bone density, recommended calcium requirement and actual calcium
intake – to help them identify osteoporosis risk factors and prevent the
long-term consequences of calcium deficiency.

Calcium Deficiency: A Leading Cause of Osteoporosis

One of the leading causes of osteoporosis and low bone mass is calcium deficiency. 
The body requires a certain amount of calcium to flow through its blood and
soft tissues every day for muscles to contract correctly, blood to clot and
nerves to function. When people don’t get adequate amounts of dietary calcium,
their bodies meet their calcium needs by stealing the mineral from their bones.
This weakens the bones over time and contributes to the development of osteoporosis.

Calcium Beyond Bone Health

Calcium deficiency may contribute to a number of other medical conditions,
including hypertension, obesity, colon cancer and tooth loss.

Meeting the recommended daily intake of calcium is also important for expectant
mothers, who transfer calcium to their unborn babies every day.  However,
the majority of pregnant women don’t get enough calcium through diet or
from their daily prenatal vitamins, most of which only contain 200 to 300 milligrams
of calcium.

Recommended Calcium Amounts vs. Intake

Experts recommend the following daily calcium intakes [1]:

Milligrams Per Day

0 – 5 months                                     
6 – 11 months                                    

Per Day

1 – 3 years                                      
4 – 8 years                                      

Milligrams Per Day

9 – 18 years                       

19 – 50 years                                   
51 – >70 years                                  
50+ years women not
on HRT [2]                  

Pregnant and Lactating                   
Milligrams Per Day

<18 years                                       

Source: [1] National Academy of Sciences; [2] Optimal Calcium Intake. NIH Consensus

While most Americans are calcium deficient, they are usually unaware that they
are not getting enough of this vital nutrient. In fact, a recent survey conducted
by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, makers of Os-Cal and TUMS, reveals that
nearly half of all women are certain they meet or exceed their daily calcium
requirements, but when asked to note the amount of calcium they think they need,
women surveyed responded with an average of 720 milligrams, far less that what
National Academy of Sciences standards call for. The most recent National Health
and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) indicates that adult women are actually getting an average of
under 800 milligrams of calcium each day.

With today’s hectic lifestyles, people are often unable to obtain enough
calcium from food sources alone. Dietary restrictions, such as low-fat and low-carbohydrate,
can also play a role. Taking calcium supplements, such as Os-Cal or TUMS, can
help people achieve recommended amounts of calcium quickly, conveniently and
inexpensively. For most supplements, it takes just one or two tablets with breakfast
and dinner to meet the recommended amount of calcium.

Besides getting enough calcium every day, another key to osteoporosis prevention
and treatment is an understanding of the risk factors for the disease, which
is prevalent across all genders, ethnic groups and ages. Controllable risk factors
include improper diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive use of alcohol and
a low intake of calcium. Risk factors that are unavoidable include being thin
or having a small frame, advanced age and family history of the disease.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world’s largest over-the-counter
healthcare products companies and ranks second globally in sales of oral care
products.  Its more than 30 well-known products include such medicine cabinet
staples as Aquafresh(R) toothpastes and toothbrushes, Nicorette(R), NicoDerm
(R) CQ, Os-Cal(R), Sensodyne(R) and TUMS(R).

About GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline — one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical
and healthcare companies — is committed to improving the quality of human
life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

* While supplies last


Jen Dobrzelecki
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
Lori Lukus

Free Consumer Hotline Responds to New Surgeon General’s Report Calling for Bone Health Awareness and Education