Simple tests may predict older patients’ risk of falling while hospitalized

A study of 807 older individuals admitted to hospital found that those who had poorer physical function at the time of admission were more likely to fall during their hospital stay; 329 falls occurred in 189 patients, including 161 injurious falls, of which 24 were serious. Poor functional performance–in areas including balance, gait speed, and lower-limb strength–was also associated with a higher incidence of falls that resulted in physical injury or fractures.

The new findings published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research indicate that a simple physical performance test at the time of admission may help clinicians take steps to prevent in-hospital falls and consequent injuries in older patients.


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