(HealthDay News) — For older adults, exercise alone and combinations of interventions are associated with reduced risk of injurious falls, according to a review published online Nov. 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Andrea C. Tricco, Ph.D., from Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute in Toronto, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of fall-prevention interventions for older adults (aged 65 years or older). Data were included for 283 RCTs with 159,910 participants.

The researchers found that in network meta-analysis of 54 RCTs with 41,596 participants, interventions associated with reductions in injurious falls vs usual care included exercise (odds ratio, 0.51), combined exercise and vision assessment and treatment (odds ratio, 0.17); combined exercise, vision assessment and treatment, and environmental assessment and modification (odds ratio, 0.3), and combined clinic-level quality improvement strategies, multifactorial assessment and treatment, calcium supplementation, and vitamin D supplementation (odds ratio, 0.12). In pairwise meta-analyses for fall-related hospitalizations, relative to usual care there was no significant correlation between combined clinic- and patient-level quality improvement strategies and multifactorial assessment and treatment.

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“Exercise alone and various combinations of interventions were associated with lower risk of injurious falls compared with usual care,” the authors write. “Choice of fall-prevention intervention may depend on patient and caregiver values and preferences.”


Tricco AC, Thomas SM, Veroniki AA, et al. Comparisons of interventions for preventing falls in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2017 Nov 7;318(17):1687-1699. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.15006