Friday, 19 Jul 2019

You are here

Mortality from Falls in the Elderly

JAMA reports that there is a trend of increasing mortality from falls in older US adults between 2000 to 2016 and that mortality rates are increased with increasing age. 

In 2014, nearly 29% of elderly (> 65 yrs.) adults suffered a fall, thereby increasing their risk of morbidity, mortality, and rising health care costs.  Risk factors for falls include age, medication use, poor balance, and chronic conditions (e.g., depression, diabetes).  This study examined mortality from falls for the US population aged 75 years or older between 2000 and 2016.

Data on deaths from falls were extracted from the US National Vital Statistics System mortality files. Numbers of deaths from falls were specified for age and sex. Age-specific mortality rates were calculated in 5 age groups (75-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90-94, and ≥95 years).

Between 2000 and 2016, the number of deaths from falls among US adults (>75 years)increased from 8613 to 25 189. The crude mortality rate more than doubled from 51.6 (95% CI, 50.5-52.7) per 100 000 persons in 2000 to 122.2 (95% CI, 120.7-123.7) per 100 000 persons in 2016. 

Age-adjusted mortality rates rose with age such that, in 2016, those aged 75 to 79 years old experienced a rate of 42.1 deaths per 100 000 compared with 590.7 deaths per 100 000 in persons aged 95 years or older.

The circumstances behind the increasing trends in mortality from falls are not fully understood. Future studies should focus on explaining the recent increase in mortality from falls, especially among the oldest age groups and what can be done to curtail these trends. 

Disclosures: 
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

Add new comment

More Like This

Intraarticular Capsaicin in Knee Osteoarthritis

A novel compound, synthetic trans‐capsaicin (CNTX‐4975), has been studied as an intraarticular injection and shown to significantly reduce pain in patients with chronic moderate‐to‐severe osteoarthritis of the knee. A phase II, multicenter, double‐blind study enrolled 172 knee OA patients between the ages of 45–80 years. Patients were randomized to receive either intraarticular placebo, or a high‐purity synthetic trans‐capsaicin CNTX‐4975 0.5 mg, or CNTX‐4975 1.0 mg.

Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Death in Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

Hip and knee osteoarthritis patients have been shown to have increased mortality rates from cardiovascular events when compared to the general population.

The study included patients in the Skåne Healthcare Register from southern Sweden who were 45–84 years old and seen over 2004-2014. Overall, there were 15,901 such patients in the study.

Safety Concerns Offset the Modest Improvements of Tanezumab in Osteoarthritis

JAMA reports that although tanezumab is modestly effective in moderate to severe osteoarthritis (knee or hip), with statistically significant improvements in pain and physical function, the tanezumab (TNZ) treated patients had more joint safety events and total joint replacements than patients treated with placebo.

Benefits vs Harms for Osteoporosis Drug Continuation or Discontinuation

While it is clear that long-term bisphosphonate therapies reduce fracture risk in women with osteoporosis, it is unclear how to counter-balance these benefits against rare serious harms and how to optimize therapeutic benefits with appropriate drug holidays. A systematic analysis of 48 studies compared long-term osteoporosis drug treatment (ODT) (>3 years) versus control versus ODT continuation versus durg discontinuation, to examine incident fractures or harms.

Knee Injuries Increases Osteoarthritis Risk

A systematic review of the medical literature shows anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), meniscus or combined ACL and meniscus injury significantly increases the risk of future knee osteoarthritis (OA).

The metanalysis comprised 53 studies and nearly 1 million participants, including 185,219 with ACL injury (mean age 28 years), 83,267 with meniscal injury (mean 38 years) and 725,362 with combined injury (mean 31 years).