ATLANTA — The elderly fear breaking a hip when they fall, but a government
study indicates that hitting their head can also have deadly consequences:
Brain injuries account for half of all deaths from falls.
The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the first
comprehensive national look at the role brain injuries play in fatal elderly
falls. It examined 16,000 deaths in 2005 that listed unintentional falls
as an underlying cause of death.
CDC researchers found that slightly more than half of the deaths were attributed
to brain injuries. The other deaths were due to a variety of causes including
heart failure, strokes, infections and existing chronic conditions worsened
by a broken hip or other injuries sustained in a fall.