Top 10 causes of non-fall related deaths in older adults

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Top 10 causes of non-fall related deaths in older adults
Top 10 causes of non-fall related deaths in older adults

Most older adult deaths associated with consumer products are related to falls, according to a new report (PDF) from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of those deaths not associated with falls, the most frequent causes of product-related death involve drowning, fires or all-terrain vehicles.

The report used data from consumer deaths that occurred in 2009 through 2011 and were reported to the commission. During that time, falls on stairs, ramps, landings and floors accounted for 73% of the 12,540 reported product-related deaths of those aged 65 or more years.

The top 10 product groups associated with non-fall related deaths in older adults:

  1. Swimming activity, pools, equipment — Submersion hazard
  2. Clothing — Fire-related hazard
  3. Bathtub and shower structures — Submersion hazard
  4. Cigarettes, lighters, fuel — Fire-related hazard
  5. Home fires / carbon monoxide / gas vapors with unknown product — Fire-related hazard
  6. ATVs, mopeds, minibikes, etc. — Tip over / instability / rollover hazard
  7. Cooking ranges, ovens, etc. — Fire-related hazard
  8. Heating stoves and space heaters — Fire-related hazard
  9. ATVs, mopeds, minibikes, etc. — Collision hazard
  10. Bicycles and accessories — Collision hazard

Age and gender differences were seen. Non-fall related deaths were reported more frequently for adults aged 65 to 69 years than for those aged 70 or more years. By contrast, the fall-related deaths that were reported peaked for those between the ages of 84 and 89. And more non-fall-related deaths were reported for men than women up to the age of 90.

Fatalities involving products that do not fall under commission's jurisdiction — for instance, drugs, food, pesticides, motor vehicles, boats, aircraft, medical devices, firearms or deaths at work — were not included in the tabulation.

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