Fall-related mortality trends in older Japanese adults aged ≥65 years: A nationwide observational study

Hideharu Hagiya, Toshihiro Koyama, Yoshito Zamami, Yasuhisa Tatebe, Tomoko Funahashi, Kazuaki Shinomiya, Yoshihisa Kitamura, Shiro Hinotsu, Toshiaki Sendo, Hiromi Rakugi, Mitsunobu R. Kano

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Fall-related mortality among older adults is a major public health issue, especially for ageing societies. This study aimed to investigate current trends in fall-related mortality in Japan using nationwide population-based data covering 1997-2016. Design We analysed fall-related deaths among older persons aged ≥65 years using the data provided by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Results The crude and age-standardised mortality rates were calculated per 100 000 persons by stratifying by age (65-74, 75-84 and ≥85 years) and sex. To identify trend changes, a joinpoint regression model was applied by estimating change points and annual percentage change (APC). The total number of fall-related deaths in Japan increased from 5872 in 1997 to 8030 in 2016, of which 78.8% involved persons aged ≥65 years. The younger population (65-74 years) showed continuous and faster-decreasing trends for both men and women. Average APC among men aged ≥75 years did not decrease. Among middle-aged and older women (75-84 and ≥85 years) decreasing trends were observed. Furthermore, the age-adjusted mortality rate of men was approximately twice that of women, and it showed a faster decrease for women. Conclusions Although Japanese healthcare has shown improvement in preventing fall-related deaths over the last two decades, the crude mortality for those aged over 85 years remains high, indicating difficulty in reducing fall-related deaths in the super-aged population. Further investigations to uncover causal factors for falls in older populations are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere033462
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2019


  • adult intensive & critical care
  • epidemiology
  • geriatric medicine
  • health & safety
  • health policy
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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