• Accidental injuries among older adults: An incidence study.

      Gudnadottir, Maria; Thorsteinsdottir, Thordis Katrin; Mogensen, Brynjolfur; Aspelund, Thor; Thordardottir, Edda Bjork; 1 Centre of Public Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. Electronic address: maria.gudnadottir@gmail.com. 2 Research Institute in Emergency Care, Landspitali, The National University Hospital of Iceland, Iceland; Faculty of Nursing, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. Electronic address: thordith@landspitali.is. 3 Research Institute in Emergency Care, Landspitali, The National University Hospital of Iceland, Iceland; Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. Electronic address: brynmog@landspitali.is. 4 Centre of Public Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland; Icelandic Heart Association, Iceland. Electronic address: thor@hi.is. 5 Centre of Public Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. Electronic address: eddat@hi.is. (Elsevier, 2018-01-01)
      To date, the majority of studies assessing accidental injuries among the elderly have focused on fall injuries, while studies of other mechanisms of injuries have been lacking. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate all injury-related visits among older adults to an emergency department and risk factors for injuries. Data were collected on all registered visits of adults, ≥67 years old, living in the capital of Iceland, to the emergency department of Landspitali, the National University Hospital, in 2011 and 2012. The yearly incidence rate for injuries was 106 per 1000 adults, ≥67 years old. Of all injuries (n = 4,469), falls were the most common mechanism of injury (78 per 1000), followed by being struck or hit (12 per 1000) and being crushed, cut or pierced (8 per 1000). Other mechanisms of injury, such as acute overexertion, foreign body in natural orifice, injuries caused by thermal and chemical effect and other and unspecified mechanism were less common (8 per 1000). Fractures were the most common consequences of injuries (36 per 1000). The most frequent place of injury was in or around homes (77 per 1000), with men being more likely than women to be injured outside of the home (60 per 1000 vs. 36 per 1000). Results indicate that falls are the main cause of accidental injuries, followed by being struck and hit injuries but other causes contributed to the rest. Falls constitute a major public health problem and fall-related injuries can have a substantial impact on the lives of older adults. As life expectancy continues to increase, fall risk is expected to increase. Since falls constitute a major impact on the lives of older adults and can lead to not only declines in physical activity and functional status, but to considerable health care costs, the health care system needs to intervene.