—Unintentional falls accounted for more than 90 percent of selected emergency department visits and hospitalizations for nonfatal injuries among adults aged 65 years and older in 2018, according to research published in the May 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Briana Moreland, M.P.H., from Synergy America Inc. in Duluth, Georgia, and Robin Lee, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, determined the prevalence of selected nonfatal injuries among older adults treated in emergency departments and hospitals using 2018 data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.
The researchers found that an estimated 2.4 million emergency department visits and >700,000 hospitalizations from these injuries occurred in 2018 among adults aged 65 years and older. More than 90 percent of the selected emergency department visits and hospitalizations were accounted for by falls.
“Injuries are not an inevitable part of aging and can be prevented,” the authors write. “Important steps include exercises to improve strength and mobility, regular eye exams, and speaking with a health care provider about reducing medications that can increase the risk for injury, such as benzodiazepines, opioids, and antidepressants.”