An injury from this simple activity can lead to life-changing circumstances – and such accidents increase, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Surgery.
The study looked at patients visited in emergency hospital wards across the US from 2004 to 2017, using data from the National Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Monitoring System. From 2004 to 2017, researchers estimated that there were more than 32,000 acute cases of fractures in connection with walking and leashed dogs between the age of 65 and older. Fall increased from estimated 1,671 ER visits in 2004 to 4,396 in 201
Medical workers should identify patients with risks when giving exercise recommendations to the elderly patients, the University of Pennsylvania said.
There are many reasons why older populations may already be more prone to fracture, such as reduced bone mass when patients age and increased fall rate. Older women who owned dogs who needed to go were particularly vulnerable to injury. Being female is already a risk factor for fractures and bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. Since 78.6% of the fractures in the study occurred in women, “elderly women considering dog ownership must become aware of this risk,” researchers in Pennsylvania wrote.
The study authors noted that there may be limitations to the study. Although the results were statistically significant, the study only saw patients who went to an emergency department. They also say their studies exclude injuries that were less serious and not fractures.
“For older adults – especially those who live alone and with reduced bone mineral density – the risks associated with running dogs risk”, the authors wrote. “Even such an injury can lead to a potentially fatal hip fracture, lifelong complications or loss of independence.”
The researchers suggest that doctors work with patients who use a dog that goes to reduce the risk of injury. It may include training dogs that do not lung when coupled and suggest smaller dog breeds.