End of the Spectacular Decrease in Fall-Related Mortality Rate: Men Are Catching Up

Hartholt, Klaas A.; Polinder, Suzanne; Beeck, F. van; Velde, Nathalie van der; van Lieshout, Esther M. M.; Patka, Peter; van der Cammen, Tischa J. M.
May 2012
American Journal of Public Health;May2012 Supplement 2, Vol. 102 Issue S2, pS207
Academic Journal
Objectives. We determined time trends in numbers and rates of fall-related mortality in an aging population, for men and women. Methods. We performed secular trend analysis of fall-related deaths in the older Dutch population (persons aged 65 years or older) from 1969 to 2008, using the national Official-Cause-of-Death-Statistics. Results. Between 1969 and 2008, the age-adjusted fall-related mortality rate decreased from 202.1 to 66.7 per 100 000 older persons (decrease of 67%). However, the annual percentage change (change per year) in mortality rates was not constant, and could be divided into 3 phases: (1) a rapid decrease until the mid-1980s (men -4.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -4.9, -3.2; women -6.5%; 95% CI, -7.1, -5.9), (2) flattening of the decrease until the mid-1990s (men -1.4%; 95% CI = -2.4, -0.4; women -2.0%; 95% CI = -3.4, -0.6), and (3) stable mortality rates for women (0.0%; 95% CI = -1.2, 1.3) and rising rates for men (1.9%; 95% CI = 0.6, 3.2) over the last decade. Conclusions. The spectacular decrease in fall-related mortality ended in the mid-1990s and is currently increasing in older men at similar rates to those seen in women. Because of the aging society, absolute numbers in fall-related deaths are increasing rapidly.


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