Bottom Line: Death rates from falls for U.S. adults 75 or older increased from 2000 to 2016 in this study that analyzed nationally representative vital statistics data. The absolute number of deaths from falls increased from 8,613 in 2000 to 25,189 in 2016. The overall rate of death increased from nearly 52 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 122 per 100,000 in 2016. Rates of death from falls adjusted for different age distributions increased from about 61 per 100,000 men in 2000 to about 116 per 100,000 in 2016; among women rates increased from 46 per 100,000 in 2000 to about 106 per 100,000 in 2016. Rates of death increased by age group in 2016 from 42 per 100,000 among those ages 75 to 79 compared with about 591 per 100,000 among those 95 or older. The reasons for these increases aren't fully known, although misclassification or incomplete recording of causes of death could have resulted in overestimation or underestimation of deaths from falls.
Authors: Klaas A. Hartholt, M.D., Ph.D., Reinier de Graaf Groep, Delft, the Netherlands, and coauthors
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