Geospatial distribution of fall-related hospitalization incidence in Texas
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INTRODUCTION: With the rapid growth of the aging U.S. population, the incidence of falls and fall-related injuries is expected to rise. We examined incidence and characteristics of fall-related hospitalizations (falls) among Texans aged 50 and older, by geography and across time. METHOD: We calculated fall-related hospitalization incidence rates (65 and older), identified fall 'hot spots,' and examined availability of fall-prevention programming. RESULTS: The incidence of fall-related hospitalizations for older adults increased by nearly 20% from 2007 to 2011. There were clusters of 'hot spot' counties throughout the state, many of which lack fall prevention programs. CONCLUSIONS: Increased efforts are needed to identify older adults at elevated risk for falling and develop referral systems for promoting evidence-based fall prevention programs at multiple levels accounting for geographic settings. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Geospatial investigations can inform strategic planning efforts to develop clinical-community partnerships to offer fall prevention programming in high risk areas.
author list (cited authors)
Towne, S. D., Smith, M. L., Yoshikawa, A., & Ory, M. G.