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Falls represent a deadly public health problem, UN warns

UN Daily News, September 2, 2010

Falls are a major public health problem across the world with an estimated 424,000 fatalities occurring each year, making it the second leading cause of unintentional injury and death after road traffic accidents, according to the United Nations health agency.

More than 80 per cent of fall-related fatalities occur in low-and middle-income countries, with regions of the Western Pacific and South East Asia accounting for more than two thirds of these deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a fact sheet issued today.

About 37.3 million falls severe enough to require medical attention occur each year. The largest morbidity occurs in people aged 65 years or older, young adults aged between 15 and 29 years and children aged 15 years or younger.