Young and middle-aged people taking two or more prescription drugs at any one time are twice as likely to suffer an ‘unintentional fall’. This effect is similar to that seen in elderly people, the study claims.
Researchers studied 344 people of working age who either died or required admission to hospital within 48 hours of an unintentional fall at home during 2005 and 2006 in New Zealand.
The study found those people taking two or more prescription medicines were 2.5 times more likely to sustain an injury as a result of an unintentional fall.
Furthermore, drugs to lower blood pressure and cholesterol appeared to triple the risk of a fall.
No increased risk was found for asthma inhalers, anti-inflammatories, steroids, or antidepressants.
Personal, social, and lifestyle factors, including hazardous drinking, illicit drug use, and sleep patterns were all taken into account by the study’s authors.
Researchers conclude the research has “revealed a largely unrecognised problem among this younger age group.”
“The findings signal a need for greater awareness of the association between prescription medications and falls in younger adults, whether this is due to the medications, underlying conditions or a combination of both related factors,” they said.
Question: Are you seeing an increase in the number of young people suffering from 'unintentional falls'?