sunny.png
Saturday July 11th, 2020 1:34PM

Deaths from falls among older Americans are on the rise

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — New research shows fatal falls have nearly tripled in older Americans in recent years, rising to more than 25,000 deaths yearly.

The findings highlight the importance of fall prevention. A separate study bolsters evidence that programs focusing on improving muscle strength and balance can help achieve that goal.

Both studies were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Circumstances weren't included in the data, but traumatic brain injuries and hip fractures leading to steep health declines are among causes of death in older adults who fall.

"Deaths from falls may have increased because older people are living longer, living longer independently, and are living longer with chronic conditions," said Elizabeth Burns, a study co-author and health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's injury center.

She noted that some medications also make older adults prone to falls. That includes prescription drugs affecting balance. Burns said research shows their use of certain psychiatric medications that can cause drowsiness and vision problems has increased substantially in recent years.

The new analysis included 16 years of U.S. vital statistics data on adults aged 75. Fatal falls increased from 8,600 in 2000 to 25,190 in 2016. Separate CDC data show they climbed even higher in 2017, to almost 26,440 fatal falls in Americans aged 75 and older.

The rate in the study more than doubled, from 51 fatal falls per 100,000 people to 122 falls per 100,000. The results echo studies of fatal fall trends in the Netherlands and other European countries.

Weight-bearing exercise such as walking; balance exercises; and resistance exercises to strengthen muscles can also reduce risks for falls, said Dr. Marco Pahor of the University of Florida's aging and geriatric research department, who wrote an accompanying journal editorial.

The program studied in the second study involved exercises three times a week at home for a year, with five sessions led by a physical therapist. These include seated and standing leg lifts, knee bends and backward walking, plus walking half an hour at least twice weekly.

Participants were 344 Canadian adults aged 70 and older who had experienced a recent fall. Half were randomly assigned to the program plus usual care by a doctor; the remainder received only usual care.

There were 236 falls during the study among the exercise group compared with 366 falls among the others.

Pahor said many older adults aren't aware of programs that can help them. Many U.S. communities offer fall prevention exercises programs at senior centers, and the National Council on Aging offers tips online.

___

Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner: @LindseyTanner

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP Health - Senior Health
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Young Americans' lawsuit on climate change faces big hurdle
A lawsuit by a group of young people who say U.S. energy policies are causing climate change and hurting their future faces a major hurdle
11:07AM ( 43 seconds ago )
The Latest: Northam says lawmakers must be second responders
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is calling for a special legislative session on gun control and is insisting that his proposals be voted on by the entire state legislature
11:00AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Barenboim's tenure at Berlin's Staatsoper extended to 2027
Conductor Daniel Barenboim is getting a five-year contract extension as general music director of Berlin's Staatsoper, which would keep him at the opera house until 2027
10:43AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
China handles Tiananmen anniversary with usual silence
China has gone into customary lockdown for the 30th anniversary of a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989, a reminder of the ruling Communist Party's emphasis on stability above all
10:24AM ( 43 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump says Johnson would be good prime minister
President Donald Trump has reiterated his opinion that Boris Johnson would make a good UK prime minister and has praised another contender for the job, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
10:22AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Trump turns from pomp to business in UK visit
Moving from pageantry to policy during his state visit to Britain, President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Theresa May to "stick around" to complete a US-U.K. trade deal
10:22AM ( 45 minutes ago )
AP National News
CVS announces further expansion into health care services
CVS Health is pushing deeper into customer health again with plans to add dietitians, medical equipment and space for the occasional yoga class to 1,500 stores
9:00AM ( 2 hours ago )
Senate report reveals nearly 400 troubled nursing homes
The federal government has been keeping secret the names of hundreds of nursing homes that had serious ongoing health or safety problems
12:23AM ( 10 hours ago )
More states sue opioid maker alleging deceptive marketing
California, Hawaii, Maine and the District of Columbia have sued the pharmaceutical company behind the painkiller OxyContin
9:27PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Health
Missouri agency cites concerns at St. Louis abortion clinic
Missouri's health department said Wednesday that the license for the state's only abortion clinic is in jeopardy because of a litany of problems, including "failed surgical abortions" and concerns about patient safety
7:12PM ( 5 days ago )
The Latest: Kansas assisted-living apartments evacuated
Flooding that has closed local roads has forced 15 elderly western Kansas residents to move temporarily from their assisted-living apartments
6:52PM ( 1 week ago )
Deaths from brain, heart problems higher for NFL than MLB
NFL players may be more likely to die from brain diseases and heart problems than major league baseball players but the reasons are unclear
11:49AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
Young Americans' lawsuit on climate change faces big hurdle
A lawsuit by a group of young people who say U.S. energy policies are causing climate change and hurting their future faces a major hurdle
11:07AM ( 44 seconds ago )
The Latest: Northam says lawmakers must be second responders
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is calling for a special legislative session on gun control and is insisting that his proposals be voted on by the entire state legislature
11:00AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Barenboim's tenure at Berlin's Staatsoper extended to 2027
Conductor Daniel Barenboim is getting a five-year contract extension as general music director of Berlin's Staatsoper, which would keep him at the opera house until 2027
10:43AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Powell says Fed stands ready to respond to trade conflicts
Powell says Fed is prepared to respond to Trump's trade conflicts if needed
10:41AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Baghdad's Green Zone reopens to the public
Iraqi security officials say Baghdad's Green Zone area, the heavily fortified strip on the west bank of the Tigris River, is now open to the public around the clock
10:38AM ( 29 minutes ago )