Falls: a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly people

Authors: Marie Berková 1;  Zdeněk Berka 2
Authors‘ workplace: LDN FN Královské Vinohrady, Praha 1;  II. interní klinika – gastroenterologická a geriatrická LF UP a FN Olomouc 2
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2018; 64(11): 1076-1083


The incidence of falls of older people is increasing. Falls are the most common cause of injuries of older adults. Costs for the treatment of injuries caused by falls are constantly increasing too. In fragile and polymorbid individuals, falls are most often of multifactorial ethiology; age-related frailty, coinciding chronic diseases and interactions with the external environment. The most serious consequences of falls include hip fractures and intracranial injury. The American Geriatric Society recommends an annual falls and instability screening in people ≥ 65 years of age. Multifactorial interventions should be targeted primarily at people with two or more falls or with a history of injury after a fall and at high-risk patients. It includes treatment of diseases that increase the risk of falls, management of podiatric problems, correction of visual deficit, optimization of medication, use of compensatory aids, home environment adaptation and education of older people and their family members. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended for indicated patients. Recently published reports, however, are reserved for its fall reduction effect. The results of rehabilitation studies are not consistent, with the best effect being reported in special programs for older adults. Using 3D technologies to simulate virtual reality can represent a new approach to improve patient adherence to physical activity.

Key words:

falls – multifactorial intervention – older people – prevention – risk factors – screening

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