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Elderly Susceptible for Spinal Cord Injuries

A minor fall can lead to spinal cord injuries and permanent disability, especially in the aged.

Vanderbilt University published a study in the June 2015 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showing an increase in spinal cord injuries among those aged 65 years and older in the U.S. in the past decade.

  • Between 1993 and 2012, there was an increase of about 68 million 65-year old and above who sustained spinal cord injuries in the U.S.
  • This was a 61% increase in spinal cord injuries among this demographic.
  • Women in this age group were 20% more likely to suffer spinal cord injuries.

According to one of the lead researchers, Dr. Nitin Jain, “spinal cord injury is a catastrophic injury that often results in permanent disability… these problems are likely to increase with our aging population.” Even a minor fall can lead to spinal cord injuries and permanent disability, especially in the aged.

What Has Caused This Increase?

The study suggests that people of this age group are less agile, making them susceptible to serious and life-threatening injuries. Researchers offered suggestions to reduce the number of falling accidents among the aged.

  • regular eye check-ups and up-to-date prescription eye glasses
  • proper fitting shoes
  • a clutter free living environment
  • monitor prescription medications, making sure there are no contraindications causing loss of balance and vision.
  • use of walking or mobility aids
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