Falls the leading cause of injury among older adults in China

August 5, 2010

Falls are the most common injury for both urban and rural elderly in China, responsible for more than two-thirds of all injuries in people 65 and older, according to a new study by researchers from China and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. This is the first study to uncover the leading causes of non-fatal injuries among older adults in China, who make up 9 percent of the total population. The report is available on the Website of the journal Injury Prevention.

The researchers also examined the most common places of occurrence and the influence of on injury. More than 70 percent of all injuries occurred in the home or in the street, with public buildings being the third most common place of injury for rural residents. Marital status was found to be a significant predictor of sustaining an injury; specifically, the divorced and widowed had 4.6 and 2.2 times the risk of injury, respectively, as elderly who were single.

"The identification of the most common locations and causes of injury is useful for the development of interventions and priorities," said Susan P. Baker, MPH, professor with the Injury Center. "The results indicate the divorced and widowed elderly should be targeted as high-risk groups for injury. Prevention programs for all major causes of injury need to be developed as soon as possible in China."

The researchers analyzed data from the 2008 National Health Services Survey of China, conducted once every five years to help the government understand the need for and supply of health services. The survey is administered through face-to-face interviews with representatives from over 56,000 households.

"Importantly, 2008 marked the first year the National Health Service in China has included injury in their survey," said Guoqing Hu, PhD, lead study author and associate professor of epidemiology and at Central South University in . "This is an important milestone, and we hope it signifies greater investment in injury control moving forward."

Explore further: National study -- kids' bike injuries are major public health concern

Related Stories

Racial disparities reduced in injury related mortality

June 16, 2008

When it comes to injury-related deaths, the gap between black and white American youths is narrowing, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study found that between ...

Fatal injuries increase in older Americans

April 5, 2010

The risk of dying from injuries is increasing for Americans ages 65 and older according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. The report found significant ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.