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Falling is the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization in Canada: report

A report found that unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations across Canada.
A report found that unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations across Canada. Getty Images

If you’ve wound up in a hospital after falling off a staircase or tripping over an object on the ground, you’re not alone.

A report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found that unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations across Canada.

While the reason for most falls was unknown, the known leading causes were “slipping, tripping or stumbling,” “falling from one level to another,” and “falling on/from stairs and steps.”

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The report, titled “Injury and Trauma Emergency Department and Hospitalization Statistics,” used data from the Hospital Morbidity Database, and previous CIHI reports.

It found that 146,609 Canadians were hospitalized for unintentional falls between April 2015 and March 2016.

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Nicole Loreti, who works with CIHI, says this year’s results are largely in line with previous years’ findings, as well as causes of hospitalization in the United States. She adds that it’s unclear what types of injuries are most commonly suffered by those who fall.

“To be hospitalized with a fall means it’s serious,” she says, explaining it’s likely more serious than just a sprained ankle, and could even be broken bones or a concussion.

READ MORE: 77,000 Canadians hospitalized because of alcohol in 2016

The second highest cause of injury-related hospitalizations was vehicle accidents. A total of 23,819 were hospitalized for vehicle-related injuries including car collisions, and pedestrians or cyclists being struck.

Attempted suicide and self-inflicted injuries were the third most common cause, with 20,282 people affected. The self-inflicted injuries resulted from poisonings, jumping from a high place, hanging in strangulation, cuts from sharp objects, and moving in front of an object.

The poison used ranged widely; some substances listed by the report included gases and vapours, pesticides, alcohol, narcotics and hallucinogens.

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The report also found that younger Canadian men were more likely to be admitted into hospitals — but Canadian women above the age of 65 were more likely than their male counterparts to be hospitalized.

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A total of 42,683 women between the ages of 18-64 were hospitalized, while 63,937 men in the same age bracket were admitted between 2015 and 2016.

In older Canadians, aged 65-84, 45,196 women were admitted compared to 31,483 men.

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