Younger Adults Taking Multiple Meds at Higher Risk of Falls

Younger Adults Taking Multiple Meds at Higher Risk of FallsA new study has found that young and middle-aged adults who take more than one prescription drug at any one time may have a higher risk for accidental falls that could cause injury, HealthDay reports.

The study, which was published on January 17 in the journal Injury Prevention, likened the effect to that seen in elderly people. Researchers studied data from 344 working-age people who were either killed or sent to the hospital within 48 hours after an accidental fall in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2005 and 2006. The group was compared to 352 randomly assigned people of the same age from the general population.

The investigative team found that those who took two or more prescription drugs at the same time were 2.5 times as likely to suffer an injury from an accidental fall than those who took only one medicine or people who did not receive any medication.

The findings accounted for personal, social and lifestyle factors like drinking, illicit drug use and hours of sleep per night, and still held true. However asthma inhalers, anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids and antidepressants were not linked to the fall risk.

According to HealthDay, falls are the leading cause of fatalities and injuries worldwide, but most research has been conducted on older adults and younger children.

"The findings signal a need for greater awareness of the association between prescription medications and falls in younger adults," the study authors concluded.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 11 million senior citizens experience falls each year – one of every three people older than 65 in the country. The group says that falls can be prevented if patients take the time to understand their medications, including keeping an up-to-date list of all current medications and ensuring they are stored in a safe area.