HealthDay News — A study published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report suggest that falls are the leading cause of injury and death among the elderly in the United States.

Researchers from the CDC analyzed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. 

The scope of the study was limited to older adults (age 65+) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who were asked questions about falls.

In 2014, 28.7% of respondents reported falling at least once in the preceding 12 months, resulting in an estimated 29 million falls. 

Of those reporting falls, 37.5% reported at least 1 fall requiring medical treatment or activity restriction for at least 1 day, an estimated 7 million fall injuries. Falls cost Medicare an estimated $31.3 billion a year.

“Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the CDC, said in an agency news release. “Health care providers can make fall prevention a routine part of care in their practice, and older adults can take steps to protect themselves.”

Reference

Bergen G, Stevens MR, and Burns ER. “Falls And Fall Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2014”. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2016: 65(37);993-998.

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