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Arch Intern Med. 2010 May 24;170(10):905-11. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.106.

Trends in fall-related hospital admissions in older persons in the Netherlands.

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Section of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.



Fall-related injuries, hospitalizations, and mortality among older persons represent a major public health problem. Owing to aging societies worldwide, a major impact on fall-related health care demand can be expected. We determined time trends in numbers and incidence of fall-related hospital admissions and in admission duration in older adults.


Secular trend analysis of fall-related hospital admissions in the older Dutch population from 1981 through 2008, using the National Hospital Discharge Registry. All fall-related hospital admissions in persons 65 years or older were extracted from this database. Outcome measures were the numbers, and the age-specific and age-adjusted incidence rates (per 10,000 persons) of fall-related hospital admissions in each year of the study.


From 1981 through 2008, fall-related hospital admissions increased by 137%. The annual age-adjusted incidence growth was 1.3% for men vs 0.7% for women (P < .001). The overall incidence rate increased from 87.7 to 141.2 per 10,000 persons (an increase of 61%). Age-specific incidence increased in all age groups, in both men and women, especially in the oldest old (>75 years). Although the incidence of fall-related hospital admissions increased, the total number of fall-related hospital days was reduced by 20% owing to a reduction in admission duration.


In the Netherlands, numbers of fall-related hospital admissions among older persons increased drastically from 1981 through 2008. The increasing fall-related health care demand has been compensated for by a reduced admission duration. These figures demonstrate the need for implementation of falls prevention programs to control for increases of fall-related health care consumption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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