Elderly Women Most Commonly Hospitalized Following Accidents, Study Finds
Women ages 65 and older have replaced men under age 40 as the most likely group to be hospitalized after an accidental injury, according to a study published last week in Injury Prevention, the Washington Post reports. Dr. David Clark, a trauma surgeon at Maine Medical Center, and colleagues at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center analyzed data from the CDC's National Hospital Discharge Survey from 1979 to 2000. They found that from 1996 to 2000, women ages 65 and older accounted for 28% of hospital admissions after an injury, compared with 26% of such admissions for men younger than age 40. From 1979 to 1983, older women accounted for 14.5% of hospital admissions after injury, compared with 41% of hospital admissions after injury for younger men. Researchers also found that older people are more often discharged from hospitals to rehabilitation centers or nursing homes, while younger people are more likely to be discharged to home. Researchers attributed the shift to the increasing number of elderly people, a lower rate of injury among young men and better emergency treatment for younger adults. The study recommends more efforts to prevent injury among the elderly in order to reduce hospitalization rates. According to the Post, older women incur the most injuries from falls and motor vehicle accidents (Ishida, Washington Post, 9/15). The study is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.