Stressful Life Events Increase Risk of Fall Accidents among Seniors

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Older males are much more likely to suffer a fall accident after they've experienced a stressful life situation like the death of a spouse. According to new research which involved 5,000 men above the age of 65 across the United States, a stressful life experience like the death of a spouse or financial problems can increase the risk of a slip and fall accident among senior males.

The men in the study were asked if they had experienced stressful events over the past year. These experiences included serious illness, accident or death of a spouse, death of a close relative, separation from a child, loss of a pet, financial problems, change of residence, or being forced to give up hobbies and interests.

In the year after they were surveyed, approximately 27.7% of the senior males suffered a fall. Another 14.7% of the males suffered multiple fall accidents. In fact, fall accidents were reported by nearly 30% of the males in the study who had suffered at least one stressful event. Approximately 35.5% of the males who had suffered at least two stressful events suffered a fall accident. In the category of males who had suffered at least three or more stressful events, approximately 40% suffered a fall accident in the year after the survey.

Overall, the researchers estimate that a stressful life event was linked with a 41% higher risk of suffering a fall accident. It was also linked to a twofold increased risk of multiple fall accidents in the year after the life event. However, stressful events were not necessarily linked to a higher risk of fractures.


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