Objective: To examine the outcomes and costs of direct medical care for falls in elderly women in Lithuania.
Methods: Women aged 65 years and older, who visited National Osteoporosis Center for diagnostic or treatment procedures. Thereafter a telephone survey was performed using the questionnaire with 28 questions about the number, circumstances, and consequences of falls. The cost of health care due to fall was estimated after calculating the sum of costs for all out-patient visits, procedures or hospitalizations, excluding the cost of medication and medical equipment.
Results: The study population consisted of 878 community-dwelling women (6590 years old), with mean age of 72.2±4.8 years. Self-reported falls during past 12 months were reported by 310 (35.3%) women, one in seven women had fallen twice or more. Women over 75 years fell more frequently than younger (P=0.021). Of all 407 falls, 90.3% resulted in various injuries, and 77 (18.9%) falls in bone fractures. There were 41 (53.2%) forearm fractures, 7 (9.1%) vertebral fractures, 6 (7.8%) hip fractures, and 23 (29.9%) other fractures reported. Owing to the fall consequences, 115 women (37.1%) visited an outpatient clinic, 15 (4.8%) were hospitalised. The mean estimated direct health care cost was 194 EUR for the fall with non-fracture injuries, 2571 EUR with hip fracture, 219 EUR for fall with a forearm fracture.
Conclusions: From all the falls registered in women over 65 years, 90.3% resulted in any injuries, and 18.9% in bone fracture. The mean cost of direct health care for fall related non-fracture injury was 194 EUR. The costs for fall with hip fracture were the highest and reached 2571 EUR.
Key words: elderly women, falls, health care costs, outcomes.
18 May 2013 - 22 May 2013