Bottom Line: Dog walking is often suggested as something older adults can do to improve their health. But older adults are at increased risk of fractures. This observational study estimated the number of patients (65 or older) nationwide with fractures associated with walking leashed dogs. Researchers used an injury surveillance database for patients at about 100 U.S. emergency departments to make their annual nationwide estimates. The number of patients 65 years or older with fractures associated with walking leashed dogs increased from 1,671 in 2004 to 4,396 in 2017. Most fractures occurred in women and most patients had hip fractures, although the upper extremity from the shoulder to fingers was the most frequently fractured area overall. These findings likely underestimate the injuries associated with older Americans walking leashed dogs.
Authors: Jaimo Ahn, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and coauthors
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