Older obese adults more prone to falls: study

Syracuse, NY – Obesity may increase the risk of falls in older adults, according to a study from Syracuse University.

Researchers interviewed 10,755 people 65 and older every two years between 1998 and 2006. The group was divided into three classes of obesity, which were measured by body mass index, a measure of height against weight. A total of 9,621 falls and more than 3,100 injuries were reported.

According to the study:

  • The group with a BMI between 30 and 34.9 had a 12 percent chance of falling.
  • The group with a BMI of between 35.0 and 39.9 had a 26 percent chance of falling.
  • The group with a BMI of 40 or more had a 50 percent chance of falling.

The study also noted that individuals with a BMI of 40 or more were one-third less likely to be injured by a fall, compared with normal-weight people.

The study was published online in December in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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