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Journal Article


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2003; 52(13): 276-278.


(Copyright © 2003, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






In the United States, falls are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations overall and the leading cause of TBI hospitalizations among persons aged > or = 65 years. In 1995, TBIs resulted in an estimated $56 billion in direct and indirect costs in the United States. In California, during 1999, a total of 61,475 hospitalizations from falls were reported among persons aged > 65 years. Risk factors for falling among older persons included arthritis; impairments in balance, gait, vision, and muscle strength; and the use of four or more prescription medications. As part of CDC's program of state-based TBI surveillance, California hospital discharge data were collected and analyzed to describe fall-related TBIs. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which support previous findings that persons aged > or = 65 years are at risk for hospitalization for a fall and that same-level falls are far more common among persons aged > or = 65 years than falls from a higher level (e.g., a ladder, chair, or stair). Defining the circumstances of fall injuries and recognizing the type of fall leading to TBI hospitalizations among older persons can help health-care providers conduct risk assessment and management of falls in this population.


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