Friday, October 26, 2012

Study Links Obesity With Risk of Falling

December 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Fall Recovery Team, News

An old saying goes: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Now a study shows that bigger people may actually fall more frequently.

A study to set out examine the effect of obesity on the propensity of older adults to fall, sustain a fall-related injury, and the likelihood that their daily living would be disrupted after a fall.
The study published earlier this month by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, concluded that “Obesity appears to be associated with greater risk of falling in older adults,” as well as a higher risk of disruption to daily activities after a fall.
The study showed that existing health problems and chronic conditions also were associated with greater risk of falling and, of those who fell, greater limitations in activities of daily living.
The study included 10,755 participants aged 65 and older for a period of eight years.
Of the participants who fell, 23.1 percent were obese. Among those who didn’t fall, 19.7 percent were obese. The study showed that being heavier increased the chances of falling; with risks increasing with increased weight when compared with normal weight people.
Being underweight was not related to risk of falling, being injured by a fall or limitation after a fall.
The study was conducted by Christine Himes of Syracuse University and Sandra Reynolds of the University of South Florida.
The study also showed that when obese people are injured, they may be less likely to recover.
“It’s just harder for obese people to recover from injury. They’re going to be in poorer physical shape to begin with,” Himes told the Reuters news agency.
The authors said their study warranted further investigation on obesity and falls and their effect on people’s health and daily living.
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