Reported increase in older adult fall deaths due to improved coding
The recent dramatic increase in the fall death rate in older Americans is likely the effect of improved reporting quality, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. The report finds the largest increase in the mortality rate occurred immediately following the 1999 introduction of an update to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), suggesting a major change in the way deaths were classified. Several research studies, including one by the report's authors, found that rates of fatal falls among seniors had risen as much as 42 percent between 2006 and 2006. The results are published in the May-June issue of Public Health Reports.
"We had been perplexed by the sudden increase because neither the nonfatal fall rate nor the fall-hospitalization rate increased significantly," said Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "By ruling out these variables, we found that a change in how the underlying cause of death gets reported explains much of the widely-reported increase."
As it turns out, the largest increase was seen in the coding subgroup "other falls on the same level," which refer to when an individual falls on the same surface they are standing or walking on; such falls generally do not result in injury that is immediately life-threatening.
"Death following a minor injury from a fall typically involves the elderly and usually occurs weeks or months after the fall as the result of pneumonia or other complications. Previously, many of these deaths were coded as the illness rather than the fall," said study author Guoqing Hu, PhD, faculty with the Central South University School of Public Health in China. "However after ICD-10 went into effect in 1999, the rate of deaths from this type of fall jumped, suggesting a major change in death certification practices."
Each year, one in three older adults in the U.S. falls, making falls the leading cause of injury deaths for older Americans. The annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $55 billion by 2020. Accurate interpretation of recent trends is critical for understanding the effect of ongoing measures designed to prevent fall injuries in the elderly.
"Falls in older adults are indeed a major public health problem, and this report should not suggest otherwise," concluded Baker. "In fact, it's likely that for some time we've been under-reporting just how many older Americans die as a result of a fall, a hypothesis supported by international comparisons. Additional research and resources are needed to address this problem."
- Fatal injuries increase in older Americans Apr 05, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Deaths from unintentional injuries increase for many groups Sep 02, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Falls the leading cause of injury among older adults in China Aug 05, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Racial disparities reduced in injury related mortality Jun 16, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Falls and follow-ups: Medical attention following a fall critical to senior health May 13, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The Obama administration says more doctors and hospitals are embracing technology as adoption of computerized medical records reaches a "tipping point" in America.
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A University of Illinois researcher says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "because ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study suggests that disturbed sleep in adolescents is associated with more symptoms of depression and greater uncertainly about future success. However, perceived support and acceptance from parents and teachers appears ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—For HIV-infected individuals with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, fecal microbiota therapy is feasible, according to a letter published in the May 21 issue of the Annals of Intern ...
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—A federal panel of medical experts says that an experimental insomnia drug from Merck & Co Inc. appears safe and effective, despite evidence from company trials that the pill can cause daytime sleepiness and difficulty ...
26 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 1 |
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0