Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Prevent Falls in Our Elderly

The Cochrane Library is a wonderful resource of evidence-based medicine.  They have the time to cull the existing data and perform an in-depth review & meta-analysis when possible.  Because they don't accept outside funding (near as I can tell), you can trust their recommendations to have the least bias, unlikely specialty organizations and industry trade groups who spin everything in such a fashion as to support their cause.  Cochrane also continuously updates their recommendations by reviewing more recent data.

For instance, Cochrane just updated last week their 2008 interventions to prevent falls in community dwelling elderly.  In order to perform their update, they reviewed 159 trials involving 79,193 participants.  Their conclusions?  Group & home exercises both reduced the rate of falls & risk of falling in a statistically significant fashion.  Tai Chi also made a dramatic difference when practiced regularly. Getting rid of psychotropic medications made some improvement in a small sampling of patients.

Bottom line: get active & stay active to minimize your risk for falling.

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