Researchers say the death rate was higher for men than for women.
Study: More Elderly People Dying from Falls
Several European countries had noted increased rates of death from falls among their elderly populations, and researchers wanted to determine whether there had been a similar increase in the U.S. Therefore, researchers from the Netherlands and the U.S. examined mortality data from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System to determine the rate of unintentional deaths from falls for people aged 75 years or older per 100,000 persons between 2000 and 2016. They found that the annual number of deaths increased from 8,613 in 2000 to 25,189 in 2016, while the rate of deaths from these falls swelled from 51.6 per 100,000 in 2000 to 122.2 in 2016.
“These finding are consistent with European data, although the mortality rates from falls were lower among the oldest old population in the United States compared with the Netherlands,” which had a fall-associated death rate of 1366.8 per 100,000 for its 95 and older group in 2016, the study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said. “This might be explained by differences between those countries in both the demographic composition (eg, the population share of non-Hispanic whites) and activity patterns (eg, rates of outdoor activities such as walking and cycling) of the older population.”
“The circumstances behind the increasing trends in mortality from falls are not fully understood,” the researchers noted. “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 tailor interventions for these older age cohorts.”