Walker, cane-related falls injure 47,000 elderly each year, CDC reports

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More than 47,000 elderly Americans experience a walker- or cane-related fall each year. That is an average of 129 falls per day, according to a recent release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers at the CDC looked at data from emergency rooms across the country from 2001 to 2006 to determine the rate of walker- or cane-related falls. The vast majority of falls—87%—involved a walker, they discovered. Women incurred the most injuries, with 78% of walker-related injuries and 66% of cane-related injuries. The most common fall-related injury was fracture, often of the pelvis or hip.

While the majority of these falls—roughly 60%-—occurred in the home, 33% of walker falls and 28% of cane falls resulted in hospitalization. Up to 42% of nursing home admissions are the result of a fall, according to some reports. (McKnight's, 4/28/08)