Harvard Men's Health Watch

Fall prevention basics

The reasons for falls are many and vary from case to case, but you can take reasonable steps to lower your risk.

A fall that results in a major fracture can trigger a downward spiral of surgery, hospitalization, and disability. "Falling is dangerous, and the No. 1 reason is the potential for broken bones, especially broken hips," says Dr. Suzanne E. Salamon, associate chief for clinical geriatrics at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and co-editor of the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Better Balance. "That can drastically change somebody's life. We know that 25% of people with a hip fracture will die within the following year."

You can't fall-proof your life entirely. But you can understand the most common causes and take some reasonable steps to lessen the chance of a broken bone if you do take a dive.

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