Skip 
Navigation Link
Aging & Geriatrics
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Finding Safe Shoes for the ElderlyHealth Tip: 5 Suggestions to Promote Healthy AgingMental Health Issues Impact Retirement Saving BehaviorGood Lifestyle Choices Add Years to Your LifeDance Your Way to a Healthier Aging Brain3MR Intervention Effective for Discontinuing Inappropriate MedsHealth Tip: Tai Chi May Help Prevent FallsToday's Middle-Age Americans in Worse Health Than Prior GenerationsOlder People May Be More Prone to Reveal Suicidal ThoughtsRisk Assessments Can Help Prevent FallsFailing Sense of Smell Tied to Dementia RiskPsychosocial Intervention Ups Adherence to AntidepressantsHealth Tip: Exercise Boosts Brain Metabolism1 in 3 Seniors Take Sleep AidsExercise, Not Vitamin D, Recommended to Prevent FallsUSPSTF Recommends Exercise for Preventing Falls in SeniorsThe Benefits of Simply Moving MoreFew Older Patients Aware of DeprescribingHealth Tip: Stair Safety For Older PeopleFracture Risk Higher for Seniors With DiabetesHealth Tip: Medication Suggestions for Older AdultsU.S. Seniors Getting Healthier, Especially When Wealthy and WhiteShort Duration of Hospice Seen for Seniors at End of LifeHeath Tip: Myths About the Aging BrainRemember This: A Healthy Body Keeps the Mind Sharp, TooIs Dementia Declining Among Older Americans?No Link for Cardiovascular Meds Use, Cognitive ImpairmentToo Much TV May Cost You Your MobilitySmoking Linked to Frailty in SeniorsMore Than Half of Americans Will Need Nursing Home Care: StudyLess Than Half of Seniors With A-Fib Receive AnticoagulantsPatients' Hearing Loss May Mean Poorer Medical CareHow You Think About Your Arthritis Makes a DifferenceDo Fewer Nightly Dreams Mean Higher Dementia Risk in Seniors?Supplement May Help Against Vision-Robbing Disease in SeniorsHealth Tip: Heat and the ElderlyCaregiving Needs Double as End of Life NearsSitting Could Be Big Health Risk for Frail FolksLower Blood Pressure Best for Seniors' MindsPhysical Activity Predicts Disability in Older Adults'On the Move' Group Exercise Program Aids Walking in ElderlyTaking a Stand on Staying Mobile After 80The Right Shoes Can Help Prevent FallsYoga May Boost Aging BrainsHealth Tip: One of Three Adults Gets ShinglesMidlife Behaviors May Affect Your Dementia Risk'Loneliness Epidemic' Called a Major Public Health ThreatProtein at All 3 Meals May Help Preserve Seniors' StrengthInappropriate Med Use High in Cognitively Impaired SeniorsSwitching to Generic Eye Meds Could Save Medicare Millions
Questions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Lifespan Development

Depression Often a Precursor to Falls in Elderly People

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: May 26th 2017

new article illustration

FRIDAY, May 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Depression appears to raise the risk of falls in elderly people, but the proper dose of psychiatric medication may eliminate that risk, a new study suggests.

"Many interventions to prevent falls are expensive and time-intensive, but this is a simple and inexpensive matter of encouraging continued use of psychiatric medication while improving monitoring of fall risk and adjusting medication appropriately," said lead researcher Geoffrey Hoffman. He is a research fellow and an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Michigan's School of Nursing.

To examine the link between depression and fall risk, Hoffman's team looked at falls involving more than 7,200 people 65 and older who were part of the National Health and Retirement Study between 2006 and 2010.

A moderate rise in symptoms of depression among older people was linked with a 30 percent increase in falling within two years. But when the researchers added medication use into the mix, the strength of the association between depressive symptoms and falls dropped to insignificant levels.

Hoffman cautioned that doctors and older patients should still weigh the risks and benefits of psychiatric medication.

And physicians should be particularly careful when prescribing and dosing certain medications such as tranquilizers, antidepressants and anxiety drugs for their older patients.

Falls among the elderly cost about $30 billion a year in the United States, and up to half of nursing home admissions follow a fall, the researchers noted. About one-third of Americans 65 or older fall each year, and about 10 percent of all elderly people are injured during falls.

The findings were published recently in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on falls and older people.