Disease Proof

Prevention of Falls in the Elderly

From the September 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

Between 30 and 40 percent of those over age 65 fall each year. Most falls have multiple causes, but muscular weakness and the use of multiple prescription medications are key contributors. Cardiac drugs such as antiarrthymics, digoxin, diuretics, and sleep medication are key common offenders. Hip fractures cause intense pain and suffering, and they can be life-threatening and result in permanent nursing home placement. In order to reduce the risk of falls, nutritional excellence alone is not enough.

Lower extremity muscle weakness is the most significant risk factor for falls and has been shown to increase one’s risk of falling fourfold.1 The most effective preventive strategies involve muscle strengthening and balance exercises for the elderly, as well as reducing cardiovascular risk factors with nutritional and dietary modifications, which helps to avoid heavy reliance on drugs and their risky side effects. Nutritional excellence does not just help strengthen your bones, it also enables you to avoid other medical problems and medication use that could further increase your risk of a hip fracture.
1. Rubenstein LZ, Josephson KR. The epidemiology of falls and syncope. Clin Geriatr Med 2003;18:141-58.
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