Decreasing the risk of falls and fractures before, during and after menopause

Decreasing the risk of falls and fracturesMAIN POINTS

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You can reduce your risk of having a fall. The years before, during and after menopause are great times to speak with your doctor, assess your overall health and make changes to decrease your risk of a fall.

By the numbers – falls and fractures in women after the age of 40

Between the ages of 40 and 60 years, women begin to experience a decrease in the ability to balance and a decrease in bone density. Both of these changes contribute to the likelihood of both a fall and more severe outcomes after a fall. Here are some statistics showing the increase in the risk of falls as women age:

In older people, 30 per cent of falls result in more severe injuries such as head trauma, hip fracture, other fractures and dislocations. Of the hip fractures in older people, more than 90 per cent are caused by a fall – 25 per cent of people with hip fractures die within 12 months and 25 per cent never regain full mobility. After a fall, older people can also lose confidence and become less physically and socially active.

Factors increasing the risk of falls and fractures

A proper review of your risk of falls and bone fractures can be performed by healthcare professionals. Self-assessment tools are also available to help you to uncover any risk factors. Your risk of having a fall increases if you have:

Decreasing your risk of falls and fractures

Your doctor can suggest steps you can take to decrease your risk of falls. These include:

Maintaining or improving your bone health decreases the risk of falls and fractures and may decrease the severity of injuries or other consequences if you do fall.

You can improve your bone health with:

Where can I find more information?

Lifestyle and behaviour changes for menopausal symptoms (See AMS fact sheet Lifestyle and behaviour changes for menopausal symptoms)

Osteoporosis (www.osteoporosis.org.au)

Calcium Supplements (See AMS information sheet Calcium supplements – a patient’s guide)

Self-assessment tool: Are you at risk of osteoporotic fracture?

Self-assessment tool: Know your bones

If you have any concerns or questions about options to manage your menopausal symptoms, visit your doctor or go to the Find an AMS Doctor service on the AMS website.

AMS Empowering menopausal women

NOTE: Medical and scientific information provided and endorsed by the Australasian Menopause Society might not be relevant to an individual’s personal circumstances and should always be discussed with their own healthcare provider. This Information Sheet may contain copyright or otherwise protected material. Reproduction of this Information Sheet by Australasian Menopause Society Members, other health professionals and their patients for clinical practice is permissible. Any other use of this information (hardcopy and electronic versions) must be agreed to and approved by the Australasian Menopause Society.

Content updated March 2019

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