Older Men Have Higher Rates of Skull Fractures Than Women

Findings seen for emergency department visits for blunt head trauma, mostly due to falls

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TUESDAY, March 21, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Older men have a higher rate of skull fractures from falls compared with older women, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Scott M. Alter, M.D., from the Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton, and colleagues used data from two level 1 trauma centers to identify 5,402 consecutive patients 65 years and older who presented with blunt head injury during a year-long period. Excluded from the analysis were patients who did not receive head computed tomography imaging.

The researchers found that 85 percent of the head injuries sustained were due to falls, with 3.7 percent sustaining skull fractures. Across race/ethnicity and mechanism of injury, men had a significantly greater rate of skull fracture versus women (4.6 versus 3.0 percent; odds ratio, 1.5).

"The high incidence of head injury and subsequent skull fractures due to falls is a cause for concern as our aging population continues living active lifestyles," Alter said in a statement. "Although fall prevention education can be addressed in the primary care setting or at assisted living facilities, the emergency department could also represent an opportunity to educate patients and to prevent future death and disability from falls in this population."

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