Volume 4 Issue 4

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Line up three adults over age 65, and odds are that one of them is going to take a fall sometime over the next year. Sadly, chances are also good that this fall will cause a serious injury. And by serious, I mean deadly. Because the terrifying truth is that falls can—and do—kill. And not just when they occur from great heights or at high speeds. All they have to do is break your hip. Mortality More an Doubles in the First Year Your life hangs in the balance aer a broken hip—especially during the critical first year, when mortality rates rocket to their highest point. And we're not talking just a little higher, either. According to one study, a hip fracture aer the age of 65 triples your risk of dying from every major cause in the book. So it's no wonder that one in five hip fracture patients dies within a year. Pneumonia and bedsores are common contributing factors. In fact, research suggests that these otherwise avoidable infections may raise mortality risk by as much as 70 percent in the six months following a broken hip. And they're hardly the only threats. One recent study showed that hip fractures also raise your risk of stroke—a leading cause of long-term disability—by roughly 50 percent. Experts can point to at least one probable cause behind this deadly connection: A broken hip leaves you immobile for an extended period of time. is stagnates circulation, encourages abnormal clotting and opens the door to increased muscle wasting. e bottom line: Hip fracture is a vicious and oen fatal cycle—one that you'll want to avoid entering at all costs. Fear of Falling Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy ere are a lot of reasons to fear a hard fall aer a certain age. Aer all, 90 percent of all hip fractures happen this way. But if you really want to avoid a broken hip, you'd be smart to cast this fear aside. at advice may sound like psychobabble. But believe it or not, science supports the role of fearful attitudes in heightened hip fracture risk. As part of a recent cohort study, Australian researchers assessed both the perceived and physio- logical fall risks of 500 men and women between 70 and 90 years old. ey classified each subject as one of four types: vigorous, anxious, stoic or aware. After the Fall by Alicia Potee The Deadly Toll of Hi p Fractures After the Fall Page 38 | Abby's Magazine -

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