(HealthDay News) — More than one-quarter of older US adults report falling during the previous year, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Ramakrishna Kakara, MPH, from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in Atlanta, and colleagues examined patterns of nonfatal and fatal falls in older adults (aged 65 years and older) by sex and state. The analysis included data from the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and 2021 National Vital Statistics System.

The researchers found that in 2020, 14 million older adults (27.6%) reported falling during the previous year. Falls were reported more often in women (28.9%) than among men (26.1%). There was geographic variation in the percentage of older adults who reported falling (19.9% in Illinois to 38.0% in Alaska). In 2021, older adults died as the result of unintentional falls at a rate of 78.0 per 100,000 population, with a higher rate seen among men (91.4 per 100,000) than among women (68.3 per 100,000). There was also geographic variance in the fall-related death rate among older adults (30.7 per 100,000 in Alabama to 176.5 in Wisconsin).

“CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries (STEADI) initiative recommends that healthcare providers screen and assess older adults for fall risk and intervene using effective preventive strategies,” the authors write.

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