Public Release:  New footwear reduces falls in the elderly population

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

A new gait-stabilizing device called the Yaktrax Walker has shown to reduce the risk of injurious falls during winter months in older adults who are fall-prone, reports a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Yaktrax Walker is a plastic netting sized to conform to the bottom of a boot or shoe. Participants in the study were asked to wear the device outdoors over their normal winter footwear and kept a diary of any falls.

A total of 43 outdoor falls were reported by participants in the study group who wore their usual winter footwear, compared with just 19 falls in the group using the Yaktrax device. There were 10 minimally injurious falls in the usual winter footwear group but only 1 minimally injurious fall in the Yaktrax group.

According to the study, falling is the leading cause of accidental death - the sixth leading cause of all deaths in older people. The average estimated cost for fall-related hospitalizations is almost $20,000. The Yaktrax Walker costs less than $20 a pair.

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Corresponding author Fergus Eoin McKiernan, MD of the Center for Bone Diseases, Marshfield Clinic, can be reached at mckiernan.fergus@marshfieldclinic.org.

This study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society publishes articles that are relevant in the broadest terms to the clinical care of older persons. Such articles may span a variety of disciplines and fields and may be of immediate, intermediate, or long-term potential benefit to clinical practice.

About the American Geriatrics Society
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is the premier professional organization of health care providers dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all older adults. With an active membership of over 6,000 health care professionals, the AGS has a long history of effecting change in the provision of health care for older adults. In the last decade, the Society has become a pivotal force in shaping attitudes, policies and practices regarding health care for older people. Visit www.americangeriatrics.org for more information.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

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