Objective To explore the incidence, characteristics, complications and socioeconomic impacts associated with falls in community-dwelling elderly. Methods From September 1, 2015 to October 12, 2015, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted involving a total of 2,012 elderly who lived in Guro-gu (Seoul), Yeongdeungpo-gu (Seoul), Yangpyeong-gu (Gyeonggi-do), Dalseong-gu (Daegu), and Jung-gu (Daegu). The subjects were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to obtain demographic characteristics and comprehensive falling histories. The socioeconomic cost related to falls was estimated using the statistical data provided by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. Results Falls were recorded in 666 out of the 2,012 subjects (33.1%) during the past year. Frequent falls occurred during December, in the afternoons, when the floor was slippery. The most common injuries included the low back and the most common injury type was sprain. The total direct costs related to falls involving the 2,012 subjects were 303,061,019 KRW (Korean won). The average medical cost related to falls in the 2,012 subjects was 150,627 KRW and the average medical cost of 666 subjects who experienced falls was 455,047 KRW. Estimates of the total population over the age of 60 years showed that the annual direct costs associated with falls in Korea over the age of 60 years were about 1.378 trillion KRW. Conclusion This study was conducted to explore the incidence, characteristics, complications, and socioeconomic impacts of falls in community-dwelling elderly. This study is expected to be used as a source of basic data for the establishment of medical policy for the elderly and the development of a fall prevention program for the elderly in Korea.
- Accidental falls
- Socioeconomic factors