Fall-Related Injuries Amongst Elderly in Sweden Still an Emerging Risk?
Sammanfattning: In Sweden, injuries due to falls are the most common cause of injury-related hospitalization and injury-related death amongst elderly. Also, during the 20th century, increasing trends in fall-related injuries have been observed in many high-income countries. Whilst fall-related injury trends have been reported from national studies in other comparable countries, no studies from Sweden using national data have been published, despite this issue sometimes being pointed out as one of the most important emerging societal risks both in Sweden and elsewhere. With large individual and societal costs, as well as prognosticated continued increases in high-income countries, the aim of this thesis is to update the knowledge on the trends of fall-related injuries amongst elderly in Sweden and to determine whether the issue is still to be considered an emerging risk.National injury morbidity and mortality data from Sweden can show that with regards to all hospitalized fall-related injuries as well as hip fractures, the risk is decreasing. However, diverging trends are observed in age- and sex-specific groups, with younger elderly now having considerably lower rates of fall-related injuries, whilst older elderly are increasingly hospitalized due to minor fall-related injuries. Also, amongst older elderly, increasing hip fracture mortality trends are observed. With regards to sex-specific groups, although fall-related injuries in general are more common amongst women, the injury trends for women are generally decreasing at a quicker rate than for men. Also, contradictorily to almost all fall-related injury morbidity, hip fracture mortality risk is higher amongst men.This thesis can show a change in trend in fall-related injuries amongst elderly in Sweden since the turn of the century, apart from amongst older elderly and with regards to hip fracture mortality. The implications on prognoses needs to be studied further as do the underlying causes behind this shift in trend.
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