Falls in elderly can be caused by low sodium

Lisa Wurth

December 10, 2010

A study that assessed more than 5,200 Dutch adults over the age of 55 has determined that there may be a link to low sodium levels and falls. Additionally, researchers discovered that insufficient amounts of sodium could lead to easier fractures from impact events.

Those who had the condition, known as hyponatremia, had a 39 percent higher rate of hip fractures. They also had a rate of 24 percent for falls, which is 8 percent higher than those with adequate sodium levels. The scientists speculated that the deficit may also be responsible for an increased risk of osteoporosis.

"A number of recent studies suggested a relationship between hyponatremia, falls, osteoporosis, and fractures," Dr. Ewout J. Hoorn said in a statement. He added that screening for low levels of sodium may consequently be a good preventative measure to take when trying to reduce the incidence of falls and fractures.

Falls can lead to injuries from which some seniors may not recover. For those living alone, it is important to take precautions, such as installing a personal emergency response system in a home. This device can allow users to immediately send a medical alert to doctors if they have fallen and require assistance.

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