Trends in Fall-Related Mortality Among Older Adults in Texas

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Abstract of Journal Article - May 2008



By Carlos H. Orces, MD, MPH

Fall-related injuries in elderly people constitute a major public health problem associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. In 2004, unintentional injuries in adults 65 years and older were the eighth leading cause of death in Texas, and falls accounted for 37.1% of these fatal injuries. Despite these facts, epidemiological information regarding fall-related injury mortality is scarce. This study used data from the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention to examine fall-related mortality trends in Texas. Fall-related mortality rates increased exponentially with age in both genders, with the highest increase observed in men aged 85 years or older. Furthermore, after direct adjustment to the 2000 US population, mortality rates increased annually 3.3% (95% CI, 2.1-4.5) in men and 2.1% (95% CI, 0.9-3.5) in women. The results of this study indicate that fall-related deaths increased significantly among older adults in Texas over the past two decades. Additional measures are needed to implement fall-prevention programs targeting specific high-risk groups.



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