Arm fractures are the most common types of broken bone injuries out there, sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to hospital emergency rooms every year. The number of Americans suffering such injuries however is likely to increase as baby boomers age.
According to a new study that has been published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research, the risk of suffering an arm fracture increases among women aged above 40, and among men above the age of 60. The study reveals that it is a combination of factors that is responsible for this increased risk of arm fractures in the senior population. For one thing, senior people are at a much higher of slip and fall accidents than younger persons. Seniors may have problems with gait and coordination, and therefore are more likely to fall and suffer fractures. Additionally, seniors are also at a much higher risk of a condition called osteoporosis, in which there is decreased bone mineral density, contributing to brittle and weak bones.
The styudy was conducted by researchers at the University Of California Davis, and analyzed 28 million emergency room visits in 2008. The analysis included 350,000 cases involving fractures of the humerus bone of the upper arm. According to the analysis, the highest number of arm fractures involved children between the age of 5 and 9. These injuries also increased in the senior population.
In 2008, approximately 50% of the arm fractures were near the top of the bone. These injuries typically occur in slip and fall accidents. The highest number of such injuries were seen in men and women above the age of 45. Those risks increased with age of the seniors, stopping at 84 years for women and 89 for men. Not surprisingly, women were at a much higher risk of suffering arm fractures. They are also likely to suffer fractures at an earlier age. This is not so surprising to San Diego slip and fall accident lawyers, because decreased bone mineral density is often associated with menopause.
The researchers expect the number of persons suffering arm fractures like these to increase over the next couple of years as the baby boomer population increases. In 2008, the number of Americans aged 65 and above was about 30.7 million. In 2030, that number is expected to spike to 71.5 million. The number of humerus fractures is likely to increase to 490,000 per year by the year 2030. Much of that increase is expected to be spurred by senior citizens. Since humerus fractures are typically associated with slip and fall accidents, the researchers are advising stronger safety measures to prevent falls involving seniors.