Sharp rise in brain injuries seen in elderly from falls

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. government researchers say elderly people are suffering brain injuries from falls at what appear to be an unprecedented rate.

The reason for the increase isn’t certain, according to the new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But one likely factor is that a growing number of elderly people are living at home and taking repeated tumbles.

Whatever the cause, the numbers are striking: One in every 45 Americans 75 and older suffered brain injuries that resulted in emergency department visits, hospitalizations, or deaths in 2013. The rate for that age group jumped 76 percent from 2007. The rate of these injuries for people of all ages rose about 50 percent over that time, hitting a record level.

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