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The burden of falls on same level among the elderly in So Paulo State
  1. V P Gawryszewski*
  1. Correspondence State Health, Department of Sao Paulo, Av. Dr. Arnaldo 351, Sala 609, Cerqueira Cesar, Sao Paulo, SP, 01246000, Brazil


Objective To analyse the characteristics of fall related injuries among residents 60 years and above in Sao Paulo State, Brazil in 2007.

Methods A total of 1328 deaths registered on the Information Mortality System, 20 726 hospital admissions from the Hospitalisation Information System and 359 visits Emergency Departments (EDs) visits due to falls were analysed.

Results Most fatal victims were male (51.2%) while females were predominant among hospital admissions (61.1%) and EDs visits (60.4%). The mortality was 31.0/100 000, reaching 110.7/100 000 among people 80 years and above. Falls on same level were responsible for 35.0% of deaths, 47.5% of hospital admissions, 47.5% and 66% of ED%, increasing with the increase of the age groups. Among ED cases, residences were the place of occurrence for 65.8%. The most common cause of fatal falls was head trauma and femur fractures for non-fatal. Among victims treated in ED, women were 1.55 times significantly more likely to be treated due to a fall than other external causes. Comparatively to people aged 60–69 years, people 70–79 years, and 80-year-old and above were 2.10 and 2.26 times, respectively more likely to be a fall victim than other external causes. There was no statistically significant difference among falls on same level and other types of fall for sex and age group.

Conclusions It is urgent to implement fall prevention programmes for the elderly.

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