A new study suggests that number of people who go to the emergency department (ED) for a broken arm could rise by nearly a third by 2030, when the youngest baby boomers turn 65, says an article by Reuters.
Researchers analyzed data on 28 million ED visits across the United States in 2008 and found 370,000 cases of humerus fractures. Children ages 5-9 accounted for the highest overall number of humerus breaks, but the arm injuries also spiked among women after age 40 and men after age 60. The researchers report that 38.7 million Americans were 65 or older in 2008, but in 2030, that number will be 71.5 million. In their article, published in Arthritis Care Research, the researchers project 490,000 ED visits for humerus breaks in that year, with much of the increase likely to be among older Americans.
The highest number of proximal humerus breaks, an injury often associated with falls, was seen in both men and women after age 45. Those rates kept rising until about age 84. Women were more than twice as likely as men to have proximal humerus break, and saw an uptick in the breaks starting after age 40, which the researchers attributed to lost bone density, says Reuters.
Fractures near the elbow were the second most common upper-arm fracture. Children under age 15 accounted for almost 65% of those.
Nearly 90% of upper-arm breaks were caused by falls, prompting the authors to call for "[r]igorous safety measures to reduce falls and improved preventive treatments of osteoporosis."
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