“The rate of deaths after falls is rising for people over 75, a new study shows. But falls are avoidable for most seniors. We have some tips.”
“If a doctor prescribes a walker, use it. “It will allow you to be more independent for longer,” Dr. Elizabeth Eckstrom, a geriatrician, said. – Credit: Ramin Rahimian for The New York Times
by Katie Hafner
“As the population ages, the number of older Americans who die following a fall is rising. A study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA found that for people over 75, the rate of mortality from falls more than doubled from 2000 to 2016.
“Researchers analyzed information obtained from death certificates maintained by the federal government’s National Center for Health Statistics. In 2016, the rate of death from falls for people 75 and older was 111 per 100,000 people, they found. In 2000, that rate was 52 per 100,000 people.
“Elizabeth Burns, a health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was an author of the study, said the reason for the increase was unclear.
“’The most likely reason is that people are living longer with conditions that in the past they might have died from,’ she said. In addition, she continued, older adults are on medications that increase their risk of falling. Women are slightly more likely to fall than men, but men are slightly more likely to die as a result of a fall.”