HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Prevalence of falls in the elderly

Females, Total: Ages 65 and over
23.8 (20.9, 26.6)Females, 80+
28 (22.4, 33.6)Females, 75-79
28.9 (21.2, 36.5)Females, 70-74
22.6 (17.5, 27.8)Females, 65-69
17.2 (13, 21.3)Males, Total: Ages 65 and over
21.5 (17.8, 25.2)Males, 80+
34.2 (25.8, 42.7)Males, 75-79
26.4 (16.7, 36.1)Males, 70-74
18.8 (11.8, 25.9)Males, 65-69
12.1 (7.9, 16.3)
  • + Source

    NSW Population Health Survey (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    The indicator shows self-reported data collected through Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). Estimates were weighted to adjust for differences in the probability of selection among respondents and were benchmarked to the estimated residential population using the latest available Australian Bureau of Statistics mid-year population estimates. Adults are defined as persons aged 16 years and over in the NSW Population Health Survey.

    In order to address diminishing coverage of the population by landline telephone numbers (<85% since 2010), a mobile phone number sampling frame was introduced into the 2012 survey.

    LL/UL 95%CI = lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the point estimate.

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    • Key points: Falls

      • More than one in five persons aged 65 years and over report having a fall each year.

      • Falls are the most commonly identified cause of injury-related hospitalisations.

      • Males and females have similar rates of fall-related hospitalisations, except among older people where females have higher rates.

      • The rate of fall-related hospitalisations for persons aged 65 years or over has been increasing since 2002-03.

    • Introduction: Falls

      Definition and classification systems

      Falls are a common external cause of morbidity or mortality.

      Examples of falls associated with morbidity and mortality include: fall on the same level, fall involving furniture, fall on or from stairs or steps, or fall due to a collision with other person.

      Hospitalisations that are related to falls may be attributed to injury from the fall itself, or may be due to conditions related to or exacerbated by a fall, such as subsequent rehabilitation.

      The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) covers falls as an external cause of accidental injury (NCCH 2013).

      Burden of falls in Australia

      Falls are common among older people, with one in four people aged 65 years or over having at least one fall per year. Fall-related injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older people.

    • Interventions: Falls

      Falls prevention

      NSW Health is committed to preventing falls and fall-related injury. The policy directive Prevention of Falls and Harm from Falls among Older People: 2011-2015 outlines the actions NSW Health is undertaking to support the prevention of falls and fall-related harm among older people.

      The NSW Falls Prevention Program seeks to promote a comprehensive, systemic approach to falls prevention and to reducing fall injury within NSW. The program involves collaboration between the NSW Ministry of Health, the Clinical Excellence Commission, the Agency for Clinical Innovation, Ambulance NSW and local health districts.

      NSW Health funds the 'Stepping On' program delivered across the state by the local health districts. 'Stepping On' is an evidence-based falls prevention program to assist older people to reduce their risk of falling. Please visit the Stepping On website for more information about the program.

      The Active and Healthy website is an online directory of physical activity programs with a falls prevention component for older people. To find a suitable program in your local area visit Active and Healthy today.

      The NSW Falls Prevention Network shares falls prevention knowledge, expertise and resources for those working in the hospital, community and residential aged care sectors. The Network is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and managed by Neuroscience Research Australia.

    • For more information: Falls

      Useful websites include:

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      NSW Falls Prevention Network at

      NSW Falls Prevention Program at

      healthdirect at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 19 July 2016