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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Dec;19(6):913-35.

What is the role of falls?

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Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, UNSW, Randwick, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


There is now firm evidence to support interventions in the prevention of falls in older people, and emerging data support prevention of falls as a method of fracture prevention. This chapter discusses the epidemiology of falls, risk factors associated with an increased risk of falling, assessment of the older faller, and evidence-based approaches to the prevention of falls in the older person. Several randomized controlled trials have found that hip protectors, if worn, probably prevent hip fractures, but that poor compliance is a major issue limiting the effectiveness of this form of intervention. More data are needed to support the role of prevention of falls in preventing fractures, as well as comparative cost-effectiveness data with other evidence-based approaches to preventing fractures in an older population.

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