Home and Community Safety & Health Safety Older adults Articles mentioned in FSH Instagram posts

Study of fall-related skull fractures has ‘unexpected’ results


Photo: sanjagrujic/iStockphoto

Men who are 65 and older are at greater risk for skull fractures resulting from a fall than women of the same age, results of a recent study show.

“This outcome was unexpected,” researchers at Florida Atlantic University noted in a press release.

The researchers looked at data from more than 5,400 patients, 56% of whom were women, at two trauma centers in southeast Florida. Overall, falls accounted for 85% of head injuries. When comparing older men with women of the same age, the researchers found that former group “had a significantly increased incidence of skull fracture secondary to head trauma, due mostly to falls.

“Previous research has indicated females are more susceptible to facial fractures,” the release states.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year – resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Safety tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Remove clutter, small furniture, pet gear, electrical cords, throw rugs and anything else that might cause someone to trip.
  • Arrange or remove furniture so you have plenty of room to walk.
  • Put essential items where they’re easy to reach.
  • Add grab bars inside and outside of your bathtub or shower and next to the toilet.
  • Put railings on both sides of the stairs, and make sure stairs and hallways have good lighting.
  • Make sure outdoor areas are well lit and walkways are smooth and free of puddles and ice.
  • Use a cane or walker if necessary.

The study was published online in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)