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Risk of falling is often "overlooked" as a cause of fractures

Risk of falling is often
18th January 2008

Risk of falling is often overlooked when trying to prevent elderly people suffering from fractures, according to a recent article.

Writing in this week's British Medical Journey, researchers stated that if the focus was on an individual's risk of falling rather than their risk of osteoporosis, then considerably more factures could be avoided.

Dr Jarvinen and colleagues from Tamper University added that current fraction prevention methods are severely limiting, as screening for osteoporosis is flawed and can often over or under estimate bone mineral density.

They added that falling is the major cause of nine in ten hip fractures and eight out of ten fractures occur in people who do not suffer from osteoporosis.

The authors therefore concluded that drug therapy is not always effective.

Current evidence-based recommendations for preventing falls include regular strength and balance training, taking Vitamin D and calcium supplements and an assessment of possible hazards within the home.

The researchers added that GPs need to identify high-risk individual as there is evidence these fall prevention methods can reduce the incidence rate by up to 50 per cent.

According to the BBC, one in three people over the age of 65 is harmed in a fall each year in England.

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