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Fatal injuries increase in older Americans
Date:4/5/2010

The risk of dying from injuries is increasing for Americans ages 65 and older according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. The report found significant increases in death rates from falls (42 percent increase), machinery (46 percent increase), motorcycle crashes (145 percent increase) and unintentional poisoning (34 percent increase). The results are published in the February issue of Injury Prevention and are available online at the journal's website.

"Our findings reveal significant increases in death rates from several different injury causes," said study co-author Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Bloomberg School's Center for Injury Research and Policy. "While the overall change in injury mortality among persons 65 and older was small, this study identifies important causes worthy of further investigation."

The overall change in injury mortality for individuals aged 65 years and older during 2002-2006 was three percent. In contrast, the rate of deaths attributed to falls increased by at least 38 percent in all racial/ethnic groups, with the greatest increase seen in whites (45 percent). Significant declines occurred in the rate of deaths attributed to motor vehicle crashes, suffocation and suicide.

"We know injuries are taking a toll on older adults. This research helps us to build upon our knowledge and translate science into effective programs and policies that prevent these injuries and minimize the consequences of injuries when they occur," said Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH, Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga.

The study also looked at changes in emergency department (ED) visits, and found that despite the significant increase in fatal falls, there has been no significant increase
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Contact: Tim Parsons
tmparson@jhsph.edu
410-955-7619
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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