Exercise, eye exams help prevent falls in older people

June 13, 2018

Falls in older individuals can reduce quality of life and cause serious injury. Dr. Kednapa Thavorn was part of a group of researchers who published a meta-analysis in JAMA that identified the best ways to prevent falls in older people. After analyzing 54 studies with 41,596 participants, the team found that combining exercise with vision tests and treatment was associated with the lowest risk of falls that caused injury. Osteoporosis therapy also made a difference in some cases. An accompanying editorial called the study a “superbly conducted information synthesis using the latest and most rigorous standards” and a “catalyst for change.” Patients should work with their caregivers to find the best kind of exercise that is safe for them based on their physical strength and ability.

Authors: Andrea C. Tricco, Sonia M. Thomas, Areti Angeliki Veroniki, Jemila S. Hamid, Elise Cogo, Lisa Strifler, Paul A. Khan, Reid Robson, Kathryn M. Sibley, Heather MacDonald, John J. Riva, Kednapa Thavorn, Charlotte Wilson, Jayna Holroyd-Leduc, Gillian D. Kerr, Fabio Feldman, Sumit R. Majumdar, Susan B. Jaglal, Wing Hui, Sharon E. Straus.

Funders: This research was possible because of generous donations to The Ottawa Hospital for Research to Improve Patient Care. The researchers have also received support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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