Vitamin D And Exercise Reduce The Risk Of Falls In Elderly People

Excerpted from :

Johns Hopkins Health Alert
Two Key Recommendations to Prevent Falls in Older Adults

The "U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a federal panel of health experts....has updated its recommendations to prevent falls in people 65 and older who aren't living in a facility such as an assisted-living residence or a nursing home. The task force reviewed evidence from studies that investigated what works and what doesn't for fall prevention.

What works, says the USPSTF, are taking vitamin D supplements and engaging in exercise or physical therapy. That's because each of these measures strengthens muscles and improves balance -- which helps reduce falls.

The USPSTF found that older adults who took vitamin D supplements or engaged in exercise or physical therapy reduced their chances of falling by about 13 to 17 percent. Individuals who were vitamin D deficient or already at increased risk for falling -- such as people with a history of falls or mobility problems -- benefited most."

The USPSTF cited guidelines for the elderly from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggesting the following :

"At least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking or water aerobics, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity like running or swimming laps
  Muscle-strengthening activities, like lifting weights or yoga, twice a week
  Balance training, like tai chi or balance exercises, three or more days a week for people at increased risk of falling".
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51-55, M
Dec 1, 2012