December 30, 2011- A recent study in the U.S. says that older adults who are obese may be more apt to have a disabling fall than those older adults who are thinner. The severe overweight however, are somewhat more protected from serious injury.
Falls often, times are seen as a potential problem for older adults who are thin and frail as their bones are more apt to fracture. Nevertheless, obesity has its risks said researchers who conducted the study.
Syracuse University’s Christine Himes, who helped in the research said, “Obese people have a more difficult time with balance.” She added, “When older, obese people slip they are less apt to react quick enough to prevent a fall.”
Himes and another colleague looked at over 10,750 people aged 65 and older. They found obese adults were 12 to 50% more apt to have a serious fall over a two-year period than those older adults who weighed less.
The odds increased as the level of obesity increased. The highest risk factor was for men who were approximately 100 lbs overweight and women who were about 80 lbs overweight. The survey lasted for eight years from 1998 to 2006 with participants interviewed every second year.
Over the eight years, more than 9,600 falls were reported with over 3,100 of the falls requiring medical attention.