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Morbidity and mortality from accidental falls in Collier County, Florida, 1997-2001

Michael Lo, MSPH, Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, Florida Epidemic Intelligence Service, Collier County Health Department, 3301 Tamiami Trail East, Building H, Room 145, Naples, FL 34112-0429, 239-530-5313, michael_lo@doh.state.fl.us

Much of the growth in the year-round resident population of Collier County, Florida, a popular retirement and winter resort destination, is occurring among middle-aged and older adults. Given this demographic trend, CDC’s State Injury Profile for Florida indicated that Collier County was, not surprisingly, at or above the 90th percentile nationally for falls between 1989–1998.

In 2002, a task force was convened to address the problem of unintentional injuries in Collier County. An analysis of approximately 6,800 injury-related hospital discharge and 720 death certificate records of county residents between 1997–2001 was conducted to characterize this problem. External causes of injury were tabulated with respect to race/ethnicity, sex, and age, and logistic regression performed to model adjusted odds of fall-related hospitalization and death for various demographic strata.

Falls were found to be the number one cause of injury-related hospitalizations (39%) and the number two cause of injury deaths (16%). White non-Hispanic and female residents were more likely to have been hospitalized or died from a fall, and an approximately two-fold increase in the adjusted odds of fall hospitalization was observed for each 10-year age increment above age 55, with the odds of fall death statistically significant above age 75 (adjusted OR = 14.11, 95% CI 8.64–23.04, P < .0001).

On the basis of these findings, older non-Hispanic white females will be targeted for a fall prevention education campaign. Possible community partners in this intervention include local hospitals, senior living facilities, senior services programs, and print media targeting seniors.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Elderly, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Age Specific Injury Patterns Poster Session

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA