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Minerva Medica 2014 August;105(4):275-81

lingua: Inglese

Reducing fall risk in the elderly: risk factors and fall prevention, a systematic review

Pfortmueller C. A. 1, Lindner G. 2, Exadaktylos A. K. 3

1 Clinic for General Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, General Hospital of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria;
2 Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Otto Wagner Hospital Vienna and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for COPD and Respiratory Epidemiology, Vienna, Austria;
3 University Department of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital and University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland


Falls in the elderly are a major source of injury resulting in disability and hospitalization. They have a significant impact on individual basis (loss of quality of live, nursing home admissions) and social basis (healthcare costs). Even though falls in the elderly are common there are some well studied risk factors. Special emphasis should be put on sarcopenia/frailty, polypharmacy, multimorbidity, vitamin D status and home hazards. There are several well evaluated fall prevention approaches that either target a single fall risk factor or focus on multiple riks factors. It has to be kept in mind that not all fall prevention strategies are useful for all patients as for example dietary substitution of vitamin D is only recommended in people with increased riks for a vitamin D deficiency. Home hazard reduction strategies are more effective when combined with other fall prevention approaches such as for example exercise programs. In conclusion elderly patients should routinely be screened for relevant risk factors and if need an indiviudally targeted fall prevention program compiled.

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