Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2014

Gwen Bergen, PhD; Mark R. Stevens, MA, MSPH; Elizabeth R. Burns, MPH


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2016;65(37):993-998. 

In This Article



What is already known about this topic?

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among persons aged .65 years (older adults).

What is added by this report?

In 2014, 28.7% of older adults reported falling at least once in the preceding 12 months, resulting in an estimated 29.0 million falls. Of those who fell, 37.5% reported at least one fall that required medical treatment or restricted their activity for at least 1 day, resulting in an estimated 7.0 million fall injuries.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Although falls are common, approximately half of older adults who fall do not discuss it with their health care provider. However, older adult falls are largely preventable. Health care providers can play an important role in fall prevention by 1) screening older adults for fall risk, 2) reviewing and managing medications linked to falls, and 3) recommending vitamin D where appropriate for improved bone, muscle, and nerve health.