When older people fall, the consequences can be tragic. A broken hip can limit mobility or even lead to premature death. That’s why preventing falls is so important. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force reviewed 54 studies on the best strategies for preventing falls in older people. The two most important interventions are both simple and inexpensive. Vitamin D supplementation at or above 800 International Units a day reduced falls by 17 percent on average. Exercise was next best at 13 percent. The investigators acknowledge that their analysis is not the final word, but these two approaches are low risk, low cost and accessible to most people.
[Annals of Internal Medicine, December 21, 2010]