Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults with Arthritis — United States, 2012
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Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults with Arthritis — United States, 2012

  • Published Date:

    May 02 2014

  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014; 63(17):379-383.
Filetype[PDF-519.75 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Falls are the leading cause of injury-related morbidity and mortality among older adults, with more than one in three older adults falling each year, resulting in direct medical costs of nearly $30 billion. Some of the major consequences of falls among older adults are hip fractures, brain injuries, decline in functional abilities, and reductions in social and physical activities. Although the burden of falls among older adults is well-documented, research suggests that falls and fall injuries are also common among middle-aged adults. One risk factor for falling is poor neuromuscular function (i.e., gait speed and balance), which is common among persons with arthritis. In the United States, the prevalence of arthritis is highest among middle-aged adults (aged 45-64 years) (30.2%) and older adults (aged ≥65 years) (49.7%), and these populations account for 52% of U.S. adults. Moreover, arthritis is the most common cause of disability. To examine the prevalence of falls among middle-aged and older adults with arthritis in different states/territories, CDC analyzed data from the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to assess the state-specific prevalence of having fallen and having experienced a fall injury in the past 12 months among adults aged ≥45 years with and without doctor-diagnosed arthritis. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which found that for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), the prevalence of any fall (one or more), two or more falls, and fall injuries in the past 12 months was significantly higher among adults with arthritis compared with those without arthritis. The prevalence of falls and fall injuries is high among adults with arthritis but can be addressed through greater dissemination of arthritis management and fall prevention programs in clinical and community practice.
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