Prevention of falls and consequent injuries in elderly people

Lancet. 2005 Nov 26;366(9500):1885-93. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67604-0.


Injuries resulting from falls in elderly people are a major public-health concern, representing one of the main causes of longstanding pain, functional impairment, disability, and death in this population. The problem is going to worsen, since the rates of such injuries seem to be rising in many areas, as is the number of elderly people in both the developed and developing world. Many methods and programmes to prevent such injuries already exist, including regular exercise, vitamin D and calcium supplementation, withdrawal of psychotropic medication, cataract surgery, professional environment hazard assessment and modification, hip protectors, and multifactorial preventive programmes for simultaneous assessment and reduction of many of the predisposing and situational risk factors. To receive broader-scale effectiveness, these programmes will need systematic implementation. Care must be taken, however, to rigorously select the right actions for those people most likely to benefit, such as vitamin D and calcium supplementation and hip protectors for elderly people living in institutions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Calcium / therapeutic use
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Geriatrics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Protective Clothing
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*


  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium