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Carol Eustice

People With Arthritis Are Significantly More Likely to Fall

By May 13, 2014

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According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), middle-aged and older adults with arthritis are significantly more likely to fall and become injured than people without arthritis. Here's the good news -- fall prevention programs can cut the risk of falls by up to a third.

The increased risk with arthritis is likely due to poor neuromuscular function (i.e., poor balance and walking speed). Additional findings, obtained from telephone surveys and published in the May 2, 2014 edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, included:

  • Adults with arthritis were about 30% more likely to have one fall in the past 12 months compared to those without arthritis.
  • Adults with arthritis were 2.5 times more likely to have fallen more than twice compared to those without arthritis.
  • Adults with arthritis were about 2.5 times more likely to have been injured from a fall compared to people without arthritis.

Exercise or physical therapy, by improving gait, balance, and lower body strengthen can cut the risk of falls by 14-37%. Consistent physical activity over time is what is necessary to decrease fall risk in people with arthritis.

Read more: How to Prevent Slips and Falls

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Photo by Sharon Dominick (iStockphoto)

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