Incidence and costs of unintentional falls in older people in the United Kingdom


Scuffham, P; Chaplin, S; Legood, R; (2003) Incidence and costs of unintentional falls in older people in the United Kingdom. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 57 (9). pp. 740-4. ISSN 0143-005X DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.57.9.740

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Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To estimate the number of accident and emergency (A&E) attendances, admissions to hospital, and the associated costs as a result of unintentional falls in older people. DESIGN: Analysis of national databases for cost of illness. SETTING: United Kingdom, 1999, cost to the National Health Service (NHS) and Personal Social Services (PSS). PARTICIPANTS: Four age groups of people 60 years and over (60-64, 65-69, 70-74, and >/=75) attending an A&E department or admitted to hospital after an unintentional fall. Databases analysed were the Home Accident Surveillance System (HASS) and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (LASS), and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). MAIN RESULTS: There were 647,721 A&E attendances and 204,424 admissions to hospital for fall related injuries in people aged 60 years and over. For the four age groups A&E attendance rates per 10,000 population were 273.5, 287.3, 367.9, and 945.3, and hospital admission rates per 10,000 population were 34.5, 52.0, 91.9, and 368.6. The cost per 10,000 population was pound 300,000 in the 60-64 age group, increasing to pound 1,500,000 in the >/=75 age group. These falls cost the UK government pound 981 million, of which the NHS incurred 59.2%. Most of the costs (66%) were attributable to falls in those aged >/=75 years. The major cost driver was inpatient admissions, accounting for 49.4% of total cost of falls. Long term care costs were the second highest, accounting for 41%, primarily in those aged >/=75 years. CONCLUSIONS: Unintentional falls impose a substantial burden on health and social services.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Accidental Falls, Aged, Emergency Service, Hospital, Female, Great Britain, Health Care Costs, Hospitalization, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, State Medicine, Wounds and Injuries, Accidental Falls, economics, statistics & numerical data, Aged, Emergency Service, Hospital, utilization, Female, Great Britain, epidemiology, Health Care Costs, statistics & numerical data, Hospitalization, economics, statistics & numerical data, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, State Medicine, economics, Wounds and Injuries, economics, epidemiology
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
PubMed ID: 12933783
Web of Science ID: 184853800023
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/9478

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