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Exercise, calcium, vitamin D, and other factors linked with fewer injurious falls

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

February 09 2018. A systematic review and meta-analysis reported in the November 7, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found benefits for exercise with or without additional measures, as well as calcium and vitamin D supplementation combined with quality improvement strategies and multifactorial assessment and treatment in the prevention of injurious falls and fall-related hospitalization.

According to data from the National Institute on Aging, men and women aged 65 years or older had a two-year prevalence of falling in 2010. Falls can result in injury, disability or death and are associated with an increase in anxiety and depression among those who survive them.

Sharon E. Straus, MD, and colleagues selected 54 randomized clinical trials that included a total of 41,596 participants for their analysis of injurious falls. The subjects’ average age was 78.1 years. In comparison with usual care, exercise was found to reduce the risk of injurious falls by 33%. When combined with vison assessment and treatment, exercise lowered the risk by 83%, and when added to with vision assessment and treatment plus environmental assessment and modification, the risk was lowered by 70%. Combined clinic level quality improvement strategies, multifactorial assessment and treatment, calcium supplementation and vitamin D supplementation were associated with an 88% lower risk compared with usual care.

Analysis of 68 randomized clinical trials that provided data concerning the association of various interventions with fracture risk found that combined osteoporosis treatment, such as bisphosphonates, calcium supplementation and vitamin D supplementation, was associated with a 78% lower risk of fracture than usual care.

“Exercise alone and various combined interventions were associated with lower risk of injurious falls compared with usual care,” the authors conclude. “Choice of intervention may depend on patient and caregiver values and preferences.”

—D Dye

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