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Facts About Falls in Ohio

Image shows an older woman lying on the floor, apparently following a fall. She is lying on her side and holding her head with one hand and her cane with the other. Her eyeglasses are on the floor in front of her.

Falls are an epidemic among older Ohioans. The following facts compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shed light on the importance of fall prevention in Ohio.

Data from the Ohio Department of Health:

  • One in three Ohioans age 65 and older fall each year.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury among Ohioans age 65 and older.
  • In 2019, falls among older Ohioans led to 1,490 deaths, 18,856 hospitalizations, and 75,091 emergency department visits.
  • Falls account for 60% of fatal traumatic brain injuries among Ohioans age 65 and older. 
  • A fall can lead to depression, loss of mobility, and loss of functional independence.
  • From 2010 to 2019, the annual number of fall-related deaths among older adults increased by 55%.
  • In 2019, the rate of fall-related deaths among Ohioans age 65 and older was 75.7 falls per 100,000 residents.
  • In 2019, women made up 55% of fall-related deaths, compared to 45% for men. However, men had a higher rate of fall-related deaths than women (87.4 deaths per 100,000 men vs. 67.4 deaths per 100,000 women).
  • The risk of falling increases with age. From 2010 to 2019, Ohioans age 85 and older had the highest rate of fall-related deaths each year. 
  • In 2019, 57% of fall-related deaths among older Ohioans occurred in the home and 29% occurred in a residential institution, such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.

The causes of falls vary. Risk factors include:

  • Lower body weakness;
  • Chronic health conditions such as depression, diabetes, obesity and COPD;
  • Poor nutrition;
  • Use of multiple medications;
  • Reduced vision;
  • Home hazards;
  • Weather and outdoor conditions;
  • Disability;
  • Lack of physical activity; and
  • Fear of falling.

Falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. Learn how to prevent falls with STEADY U Ohio.