The Detailed 15-Point Guide to Live Long, Healthy
Since the first piece titled, “Falls” in Jun 2021, in which I quoted Indian data on falls and fractures, a couple of new papers have added to our knowledge of what happens in India. One recent paper by Isha Biswas and colleagues has found the prevalence of injuries to be almost 65% in those who fall , which means that 2/3rds of those who fall sustain injuries of some significance. On the other hand, analysis of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) cohort by Shriya Thakkar and colleagues  has found a 30% prevalence of frailty in those over the age of 60 years, with a 15.4% prevalence of falls in frail individuals as against a prevalence of 11.8% in non-frail older adults, a much lower prevalence compared to Ravneet Kaur’s meta-analysis  that mentions a 31% prevalence of falls in Indian adults. Irrespective of whether it is 15% or 30%, from a sheer numbers perspective, the prevalence of falls in those over 60 years of age, still falls between 22 (15%) and 45 million (30%), 2/3rds of them sustaining injuries that need management. These are huge numbers.
We need to do whatever is possible to reduce our risk of falling and the risk of fracture, if we fall.
I wrote this recently in Nov, 2023 in my article titled “Falls-Proofing the House”.
“Not falling is an integral part of our atmasvasth quest to live long, healthy. The three pillars of falls prevention include physical activity and exercise to improve muscle strength and balance, personal measures such as taking care of poor vision, reduced hearing and polypharmacy and measures at home that reduce the risk of falls, including better lighting, provision of hand-rails, etc.”
That article focused on the third pillar, i.e. the measures we can take at home to reduce the risk of falls. What many people forget are the constituents of the 2nd pillar, which involves taking care of vision and hearing issues and polypharmacy.