Article from the Assisted Living Federation of America.
A new study indicates that obese seniors are more likely to fall than their recommended weight counterparts. When these falls resulted in injury, researchers found obese individuals less likely to recover.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, followed 10,755 individuals, aged 65 and up, between 1998 and 2006. Researchers found that obese participants were 12 to 50 percent more likely than the recommended weight participants to have fallen during this time. This range depended on the level of obesity, with a 50 percent higher risk seen among participants with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. Researchers factored in obesity related health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and stroke, but still found obesity itself to be linked to a higher fall risk.
Being severely obese offered some protection against injury. Those with a BMI of 40 or higher were one-third less likely to be injured by a fall than normal weight individuals. The obese individuals with a BMI lower than 40 however had a higher risk of long term disability after a fall. When they were injured, all obese seniors were less likely to recover than their recommended weight peers.
Read more about the findings out of Syracuse University in the Chicago Tribune’s article:Obesity Linked to Older Adults’ Risk of Falls at www.chicagotribune.com