Department of Family and Community Services

1.3 Fall-related injuries

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Rate of fall-related injuries requiring overnight hospital stay, people 65 years and over

Current position

In 2011-12, older women had higher rates of fall-related hospital stays than men. Women’s hospitalisation rate was 3,471 per 100,000 women (nearly 23,200 falls in total), while men’s was 2,652 per 100,000 men (nearly 12,400 falls in total).

Gender gap

  • Of all fall-related hospitalisations among people 65 years and over in 2011-12,women accounted for nearly two-thirds (65 percent), some 10,800 more fall-related hospitalisations than men.
The direction of change over time

Over the last two decades, the rate of fall-related hospitalisations of older people has
increased among both sexes. Men’s rate of fall-related hospitalisation has increased more than women’s (see Figure 2.1) in percentage terms but from a far lower base.

The rates in 2011-12 were similar to those in 2010-11.

Discussion

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisations in NSW, accounting for some 30 percent of people hospitalised because of an injury. Fall-related injuries result in relatively long hospital stays. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare calculated that seven days was the average, with the range between one and 150 days in 2009-10 (Australia-wide data).

The incidence of fall-related injuries is higher for women at all ages, and women’s rate increases more rapidly than men’s over their lifetime. Older people currently account for 65 percent of all fall-related hospitalisations in NSW.

 

The indicator is patients in NSW public hospitals who are admitted overnight for a fall-related injury, which is an injury where the external cause recorded includes ‘fall’. Deaths are included but patients admitted and discharged the same day are not. The data is age-adjusted.

Year collected: 2011-12 and previous years.
Data source: Admitted Patient Data Collection and ABS population estimates (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

Figure 2.1 Fall-related hospital stays, by sex, 1991-92 to 2011-12 Fig 2.2

Note: Fall-related hospitalisations are injuries caused by a fall where people needed to stay overnight in hospital.
Population: People aged 65 and over.
Source: NSW Admitted Patient Data Collection and ABS population estimates (SAPHaRI).