Falling Is Taking a Toll on Elderly Brains

By Dr. Mercola Falls are a leading cause of injury among Americans aged 65 and over, with 1 in 5 leading to a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury. More than 1 in 4 older Americans falls every year, and such falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) among this population.1 In March 2017, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report with some startling figures regarding TBI in older Americans, including those related to falls. Among those 75 and older, 1 in 45 suffered from a brain injury that led to an emergency room visit, hospitalization or death in 2013 — a 76 percent increase from 2007 — with the primary cause being falls.2 While brain injuries due to motor-vehicle accidents decreased during the study period, and considerable attention has been given to concussions in youth as a result of sports, far less attention has been given to the risk of brain injury in older Americans due to falls. The authors noted:


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