18 Jun New Report Finds Spinal Cord Injuries Are Decreasing among Young, Increasing among Elderly
Spinal cord injury rates among different sectors of the U.S. population were recently the focus of a study conducted at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and its findings are interesting.
In fact, while this study found that people between 16 and 24 have been sustaining less spinal cord injuries over the past two (2) decades, it also discovered that people older than 65 have been suffering these injuries at increasing rates over the past 20 years. Specifically, from 1993 to 2012, spinal cord injury rates for the elderly jumped up over 60 percent, according to the study’s findings.
So, why is there a discrepancy between the rates of spinal cord injuries among younger versus older people in the U.S.? Here’s how these researchers explained the difference…
Researchers Explain the Discrepancy
According to researchers, one of the primary reasons that spinal cord injuries have been increasing among the elderly population is that these people are suffering more falling accidents (and there are more people entering their twilight years due to the baby boomers aging). In fact, researchers pointed out that people older than 65 are more likely to:
- Fall in general due to issues with balance, mobility and vision that naturally arise with aging
- Fall at home due to various factors, only some of which include insufficient lighting, unsafe stairways, a lack of railings along stairs, not wearing the proper shoes and not having an up-to-date prescription for their glasses.
In contrast, younger people are experienced less spinal cord injuries in recent years due to a number of safety improvements that have been made to vehicles, as well as improvements in driver education, researchers have noted. This is because motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries among this group.
Reducing the Rates of Spinal Cord Injuries: What Researchers Recommend
When it comes to reversing the trend in spinal cord injuries among the elderly in the U.S., researchers are urging people to:
- Monitor their elderly loved ones for falls
- Make sure their elderly loved ones have up-to-date eyeglass prescriptions, as well as safe stairway conditions at home
- Consider installing walk-in tubs or other mobility aids that can further reduce the risk of falling at home.
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Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney at the Law Office of Richard Langerman
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