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JAMA Patient Page
April 24, 2018

Prevention of Falls in Older Adults

JAMA. 2018;319(16):1734. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.4396

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently published recommendations for providing interventions to prevent falls in older adults.

Falls are the leading cause of injury in adults aged 65 years or older. A serious fall can result in decreased functional independence and quality of life. Hip fractures in particular are a serious consequence of falling that can be devastating in older adults. The risk of falling increases with age for many reasons, including overall weakness and frailty, balance problems, cognitive problems, vision problems, medications, acute illness, and other environmental hazards. There is currently no ideal instrument or calculator for primary care doctors to decide who is at greatest risk of falls. The best predictor for an increased risk of falls is a history of falls.