Background In 2018–19 injury was the fourth highest area of health expenditure and the fifth highest burden of disease in Australia. Falls injuries accounted for 41% of injury expenditure and ranked 18th for overall disease burden. Older people are at higher risk for hospitalised falls due to lower bone density, reduced muscle tone and conditions affecting balance and eyesight.
Aim To provide updated Australian falls injury data from 2019–20.
Methods The data was sourced from the National Hospital Morbidity Database for hospitalisations and National Mortality Database for deaths. The inclusion criteria were a hospitalisation with a principal diagnosis of injury, where the leading cause of injury was a fall, and the patient was 65 years and over. Data were extracted according to the International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision, Australian modification (ICD-10-AM).
Results Will be presented by demographics (sex, age, remoteness, and Indigenous status), fall type, place, activity, injury type, location, and severity. The second half of the 2019–20 reporting period coincided with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia and changes in hospitalisations will be presented (results under embargo until April 2022).
Conclusion The number and nature of falls in 2019–20 is similar to 2016–17 without the monthly variation caused the COVID-19 lockdowns. National data is necessary to inform policy and prevention programs to reduce the burden of disease and health expenditure of falls in Australians aged 65 and over.
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