Secular trends in fall-related hospitalizations in adolescents, youth and adults: a population-based study

Casey T.L. Tang, Chor Wing Sing, Timothy C.Y. Kwok, Gloria H.Y. Li, Ching Lung Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Falls are one of the major causes of injury globally. However, there is a lack of population-based studies on falls among adolescents, young and middle-aged adults. We therefore aimed to conduct a large-scale population study on the secular trend in incidence of fall-related hospitalization. Methods: A population-wide electronic database, Hong Kong's Clinical Data Analysis and Reporting System (CDARS), was used in this retrospective cohort study. Patients aged≥10, hospitalized with diagnosis of accidental falls (ICD-9-CM E880-E888) from 2005-2018, were included. Outcome measures included the number, age- and sex-standardized incidence rate of fall-related hospital admissions, their length of stay (LOS) and 1-year all-cause mortality. Linear regression and average annual percentage change (AAPC) using joinpoint regression were computed for trend analysis. Findings: From 2005 to 2018, a total of 336,439 patients aged≥10 were identified with fall-related hospitalization. Among these fall patients, 33.7% occurred at age<60. The number of fall-related hospital admissions episodes increased significantly by 83.7% during the study period. The standardized incidence rate of falls per 1000 person-years increased from 3.67 (95% CI 3.62-3.72) in 2005 to 4.79 (95% CI 4.74-4.84) in 2018. Although the total hospitalized bed-days increased from 178,723 days in 2005, to 299,273 days in 2018 (+67.5%,p<.0001), the median length of stay per episode of falls decreased from 4.90 days to 3.79 days (p<.0001). Interpretation: Continuous increase in the incidence of fall-related hospitalization in people aged≥10 was observed. This suggested that falls are a public health issue in all ages. Further studies on the differences in the underlying risk factors and comorbidities between younger and older fall patients are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100183
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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