Taking Two or More Medications Increases Fall Rate

For young and middle-aged adults, taking two or more meds tied to 2.5-fold increase in fall risk

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The use of two or more prescription medications is associated with an increased risk of falls and fall-related injuries at home among young and middle-aged adults, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Injury Prevention.

Bridget Kool, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues investigated the association between medications and fall-related injuries occurring at home. They analyzed data from a population-based case-control study of individuals aged 25 to 60 years. There were 335 cases who were admitted to hospital or died as a result of unintentional falls at home, and 352 randomly selected controls.

The researchers found that, after controlling for demographic, personal, and lifestyle factors, the use of two or more prescription medications was associated with an increased risk of fall injury (odds ratio, 2.5), compared to one or no medications. The most commonly involved medication groups were antihypertensives and lipid-lowering drugs.

"The findings suggest that, as in the case of older people, younger working aged adults who use multiple prescription medications are at increased risk of falls, an aspect that should be considered in falls prevention programs," the authors write.

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