DefinitionThe number of hospitalizations due to unintentional falls per 10,000 population. ICD-10: W00-W19.
NumeratorNumber of hospitalizations due to unintentional falls (ICD-10 codes: W00-W19).
DenominatorTotal number of persons in the population of Utah.
Data Interpretation Issues*Use caution in interpreting; the estimate has a coefficient of variation > 30% and is therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health standards. Consider aggregating years to decrease the relative standard error and improve the reliability of the estimate.
**The estimate has been suppressed because 1) the relative standard error is greater than 50% or 2) the observed number of events is very small and not appropriate for publication.
Why Is This Important?Falls are a leading cause of injury death for Utahns, especially those aged 65 and older. Additionally, in Utah, unintentional fall-related inpatient hospital charges for all ages totaled $1.28 billion over from 2016 to 2020.
Healthy People Objective IVP-23.2:Prevent an increase in fall-related deaths among adults aged 65 years and older
U.S. Target: 47.0 deaths per 100,000 population
How Are We Doing?Unintentional falls caused 403 unintentional fall-related deaths in Utah in 2021; 87% (351/403) of deaths were among Utahns aged 65 and older.
In 2020, females aged 65 and older had a significantly higher rate of hospitalizations due to unintentional falls (112.5 per 10,000 population) than males aged 65 and older (71.7 per 10,000 population).
Note: 2020 is the most current year for which data is available for hospitalizations.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2020 in Utah, there were 184.5 hospitalizations due to unintentional falls for every 100,000 people (age-adjusted rate). This is significantly less than the U.S. rate of 320 hospitalizations per 100,000 people hospitalized due to unintentional falls.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) receives funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect traumatic brain injury surveillance data, including a falls-specific data module, for the state of Utah. This is done through review of hospital discharge data, vital statistics data, and hospital records abstractions.
Local health departments and other community-based agencies have implemented evidence-based falls prevention programs, such as the Stepping On program and Matter of Balance program. These programs work to increase strength and balance, reduce fall hazards in the home, and build self-efficacy among participants to reduce the fear of falling. National research shows the programs reduce falls among participants. The classes are free to the public.
The Utah Falls Prevention Coalition was established by the VIPP in 2011 with the purpose of developing a strategic, statewide response to the growing rate of falls among older adults in the state. Until this time, there had been no single, statewide response to address this public health problem in Utah. Many organizations were implementing falls prevention activities but resources and activities were scattered and disconjointed when looked at from a public health perspective. The Coalition has three main purposes: 1) bring together partners who have an interest in falls prevention among older adults, 2) develop goals and strategies on falls prevention among older adults to include in the Utah Violence and Injury Plan, and 3) ready the state for future funding opportunities on falls prevention.
Health Program InformationThe Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is a trusted and comprehensive resource for data related to violence and injury. Through education, this information helps promote partnerships and programs to prevent injuries and improve public health.