State Falls Facts

State Falls Facts

  • Falls are the leading cause of accidental death among people 65 or older in VERMONT.
  • While the greatest number of fall-related hospitalizations occurred among VERMONT residents between the ages of 66-84 years, those ages 85 years and older had the highest rate of fall-related hospitalizations (5,712 per 100,000 people) and fall-related emergency department visits (7,157 per 100,000 people).
  • Each year, more people 65 or older in VERMONT die from falls than in motor vehicle crashes.
  • VERMONT’S fall death rate for residents 65 and older has increased by 423% from 2000 to 2009.

Fall Deaths are Only the Tip of the Iceberg

Fall Deaths are Only the Tip of the Iceberg

Source: Vermont Department of Health 2009 data

Fall injuries that cause death in VERMONT are only the tip of the injury iceberg.

Although falls occur across the life span, the rate of fatal falls is approximately 50 times higher for older adults that for the rest of VERMONT’S population.

The largest numbers of people with fall injuries are those who do not go to see a doctor, receive no medical care, or treat themselves.

VERMONT is seeing a significant increase in its numbers of older adults.  In 2009, there were 129,139 VERMONT residents over the age of 65, as compared to 101,827 seen in 2000.  This shows a 26% increase of the ages 65+ population.  As the population ages, the impact and cost of fall-related deaths and injuries will increase dramatically unless this serious public health issue is addressed effectively.

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