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USPSTF Recommends Exercise for Preventing Falls in Seniors

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends exercise to prevent falls in at-risk community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online Sept. 26 by the USPSTF.

Researchers from the USPSTF reviewed the evidence to update the 2012 final recommendation statement in relation to interventions to prevent falls for adults aged 65 years and older who live at home and are at increased risk of falls.

The researchers found that exercise is recommended for adults age 65 years and older who are at increased risk of falls (B recommendation). Multifactorial interventions to prevent falls should be offered selectively by clinicians; the overall net benefit of routinely offering multifactorial interventions is small. The balance of benefits and harms, based on the patient's history of falls, presence of comorbidity, and values and preferences, should be considered when determining whether this service is appropriate for an individual (C recommendation). Vitamin D supplementation is not recommended for prevention of falls (D recommendation). These findings form the basis of two draft recommendation statements, which are available for public comment from Sept. 26 through Oct. 23, 2017.

"Falls can cause significant injuries in older adults, so preventing falls is important to maintaining their physical well-being. We found that exercise can help prevent falls," Task Force member Alex Kirst, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement.

Evidence Review 1
Draft Recommendation Statement 1
Comment on Recommendation 1
Evidence Review 2
Draft Recommendation Statement 2
Comment on Recommendation 2

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Posted: September 2017