220,000 each of hip and wrist fractures in persons over the age of 6573 (see Chapter 6). Although precise estimates are not available, there are several times as many fractures of other bones in persons aged 65 and older as there are hip and wrist fractures.29,33,81 The proportions of some frequently occurring fractures (e.g., those of the rib, hand, foot, and ankle) that result from falls versus other types of trauma are also uncertain. The epidemiology of fracture is reviewed in greater detail in Chapter 6.

Other serious injuries resulting from falls include hematoma, joint dislocation, severe laceration, sprain, and other disabling soft tissue injury. There are few data on fall-related injuries other than fracture in the U.S. population. In a regional study in northeastern Ohio, the rate of emergency room treatment of fall-related injuries in persons aged 75 and older approached 80 per 1,000 per year in women and 60 per 1,000 per year in men.29 Another recent study in Dade County, Florida, found an exponential increase with age in the rate of fall injuries that received hospital and emergency room treatment among persons aged 65 and older. These rates were higher in women than men at all ages.95 Among those over age 75, fall injury rates in women exceeded 100 per 1,000 per year; in men they exceeded 80 per

FIGURE 15-2 Death rates from falls per 100,000 persons by age, sex, and year: United States. Source: National Center for Health Statistics annual mortality data tapes reporting external underlying cause of death.



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