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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2007 Sep-Oct;45(2):207-15. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

Fall-related injuries among initially 75- and 80-year old people during a 10-year follow-up.

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Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland.


The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence, type, scene and seasonal variation of fall related injuries, and the impact of socio-economic factors, mobility limitation, and the most common diseases on the risk of injurious falls over a 10-year follow-up. Elderly residents of Jyväskylä, Finland, aged initially 75 and 80 years, took part in the study in 1989-1990. The health and functional capacity assessments were carried out at the baseline. Injurious falls were monitored over a 10-year period. The rate of injurious falls per thousand person-years was 188 among women and 78 among men. Of all fall-related diagnoses, head injuries comprised 32%, upper limb injuries 27% and hip injuries 19%. Majority of injurious falls took place indoors and no seasonal variation in fall occurrence was observed. Recurring falls were more likely to take place in institutions. Osteoarthritis increased the risk of injurious falls but no effect was observed for coronary heart diseases or mobility limitation. All in all, intrinsic factors, such as chronic diseases and mobility limitation had only minor effect on risk of injurious falls among older people. The current results suggest that preventive interventions for injurious falls among older people should pay attention to the risk factors present indoors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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